Accor pays tribute to co-founder

ACCOR has honoured co-founder Gérard Pélisson following his passing at age 91. In a statement published this morning, the hospitality group extended condolences to his loved ones, including his nephew Gilles Pélisson, who has worked for Accor for 17 years.

Described by the group as an “iconic pioneer”, Pélisson established Accor alongside co-founder Paul Dubrule with the creation of US-inspired Novotel in Lille Lesquin, in 1967.

He played a crucial role in building the group’s early portfolio, including ibis, Mercure, Sofitel and Formule1, while overseeing its business plans and major financial projects.

Pélisson also acted as Chairman of the Institut Paul Bocuse, where he advocated that all roles, big or small, across the hospitality sector be recognised for the important part they played in contributing to exceptional experiences. In 1997, Pélisson stepped back from leading the group and took on the role of co-chair of the Supervisory Board alongside Dubrule.

He will also be remembered as an avid golfer, having launched the tournament ‘Tee Bleu’ to share his love for the sport with his colleagues.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sébastien Bazin, praised Pélisson as an “entrepreneur par excellence”, describing the beloved co-founder as “a true revolutionary of our industry who, together with Paul Dubrule, made Accor a global force to be reckoned with”.

“With courage and determination, they fearlessly challenged conventions, reinvented hospitality, and forever altered the industry’s trajectory, making a global impact.

“Gérard’s legacy lives on at Accor and we will all endeavour to embrace his daring spirit, mirroring his pursuit of excellence and passion for business. His vision and heart will forever be with us!”

Accor teams from across the globe will pay tribute to the hospitality legend using a virtual commemoration wall.

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