“I feel tremendously privileged and proud to be part of this huge growth story with IHG. We have great ambitions to grow our footprint in this fast-growing and emerging market, and I am really excited to be part of the leadership team that will achieve that ambition. It is also an incredible sense of homecoming for me, as I left my native India 32 years ago, and the opportunity to return after all these years is nothing short of overwhelming, exciting, but mostly humbling,” said Rao.
Rao will report to Douglas Martell, VP of Operations, South West Asia. He will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of IHG’s 12 properties across the country, as well as new openings.
Since joining IHG in 2007, Rao has launched more than 35 sales activities, adding $10 million in revenue in 2011 and 2012 by targeting the Canadian sports market. He also helped launch the first IHG Academy in Canada in partnership with Cape Breton University.
Jo Allan, director of Marketing, will lead the Canada region until Angela Xavier, director of National Sales for Canada, returns from maternity leave in April, at which point the new leadership structure will be announced.