Macdonald Hotels chair in control as CEO departs

Donald Macdonald decided not to directly replace David Guile. Picture:  Robert Perry
Donald Macdonald decided not to directly replace David Guile. Picture: Robert Perry
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DONALD MACDONALD, the chairman of the eponymous Scottish hotels group, is to take over day-to-day running of the business following the departure of chief executive David Guile.

The 50-year-old has been in control for the last six years and been with Macdonald Hotels for a total of 13 years. He said the decision to leave the firm, which has 45 sites, had been the “toughest in my career”.

In April, the Bathgate-based group unveiled a refinancing package that allowed management to take full ownership of the firm.

Executives now own 100 per cent of the share capital after the 50 per cent stake owned by Lloyds Banking Group was swapped for £5.5 million in loan notes. Lloyds is also providing a £299m banking facility, which is on a five-year basis and replaces a similar three-year deal.

The group’s most recent results reflected investment to move its estate further up market, with those hotels already refurbished fuelling a 7 per cent increase in operating profits to £14.9m. Turnover was largely flat at £138.6m.

Guile said yesterday: “My decision to leave the company has been the toughest decision in my career particularly as Macdonald Hotels has been a huge part of my life over the last 13 years, but I feel the time is right to move on and pursue other interests.

“Following the recent refinancing with Lloyds Banking Group and our continued positive trading performance, the company is well placed for its next phase of development.”

Executive chairman Macdonald added: “Following David’s decision to leave the company I have decided against appointing a direct replacement at this time and I will assume the role of chief executive for the time being. I am pleased David has agreed to remain with the business for a short handover period.

“At the time of our result’s announcement in December, I said that our company has never been better placed in terms of its people, its product and its financial stability, and that statement is strengthening each week that passes.”