Pat McCann, the chief executive of hotel group Dalata, is to step down from his role following a transition period.
Mr McCann, who has served as CEO since founding the company in 2007, is also stepping down from the board.
Dermot Crowley, currently deputy CEO, will succeed Mr McCann, according a statement from the group.
The announcement was made as the group reported a loss after tax of €101m in respect of last year.
The group said its “proactive” cost reductions and government support schemes protected employment and cash during periods of low occupancies.
Dalata said its balance sheet, which includes hotel assets of €1.2bn, provides it with “security and opportunity.”
Revenue at the group fell by 68pc last year to €136.8m, as tourism sector was particularly badly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the year the group had 31pc occupancy, compared to 83pc in 2019, according to annual results.
The average room rate was €89 down from €113 the prior year.
Dalata, whose brand’s include the Maldron and Clayton hotels, is Ireland’s largest hotel group.
Commenting on his decision to step down, Mr McCann said: "It has been a privilege to lead Dalata. I am immensely proud of everything we have achieved but most of all, I am proud of our people, who continue to demonstrate dedication and resilience, in what has been a difficult year for many of them.”
“I thank the board for their support over the years and wish Dermot every success in his role as CEO, which I have no doubt he will excel in."
The company said the board of directors undertook a “rigorous and extensive” succession planning process led by its nomination committee, with input from international executive search firm Korn Ferry.
Mr Crowley emerged as the leading candidate, and his appointment as CEO-designate is the unanimous decision of the board.
John Hennessy, Dalata chairman, said Pat McCann has been “instrumental in growing Dalata, and its Clayton and Maldron brands, into a leading player in the hotel sector in Ireland and the UK.”
“Having founded the business in 2007, he has successfully transformed Dalata, creating a listed business comprising 44 hotels, 9261 bedrooms and a pipeline of 13 new hotels with 3300 rooms. His leadership and his ability to engage our people has been critical to that success.”
He added that he is “delighted” Mr Crowley will succeed Mr McCann.
“The board is confident that Dermot is the right person to lead Dalata in the period ahead,” Mr Hennessy said.
Mr Crowley was appointed as deputy CEO, business development and finance of Dalata in 2012.
The Dublin-listed company said he played a “key role” in the flotation of Dalata in 2014 and led the acquisition of the Moran Bewley Hotel Group in 2015.
Prior to joining Dalata Mr Crowley worked as head of development with Jurys Doyle and as a financial controller within Forte Hotels.