Vianet boss leaves to become BII chief

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

New role: Steven Alton has been at Vianet for nine years
New role: Steven Alton has been at Vianet for nine years
The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) has appointed current managing director (MD) of Vianet Steven Alton, as its new chief operating officer, progressing to chief executive officer in due course.

Alton has been at Vianet for almost nine years and will join the BII on 30 September. During the first few months, he will be responsible for the trade body’s headquarters in Farnborough, Hampshire, where he will oversee a strategy for the future.

BII chairman Mark Robson said: “We are really pleased Alton has agreed to join the BII and, being known across the industry, he is well placed to take over from Mike Clist who will continue in his full-time role until late 2019.

Smooth transition

He added: “He will then continue as CEO on a part-time basis until Alton feels he is in a position to take over the CEO’s role.

“This will ensure a smooth transition and help with the BII’s relationships with their key companies and bodies.”

Alton will look to ensure the BII is modern and in a good position to support the challenges facing licensees and staff in the hospitality industry.

Exciting and challenging

He said: “I am looking forward to leading the BII into the future, building on the great work by Clist and his team.

“The hospitality industry is both hugely exciting and challenging right now. The BII is uniquely positioned to provide essential, independent and trusted support to its members to help them thrive.”

This follows the news that Mark Robson was announced as the next chair for the BII. Robson is the managing director for the Surrey-focused Red Mist Leisure group, which currently operates 10 sites​.

On his new appointment at the time (November 2018), Robson said: “I am delighted and immensely proud to be appointed as the new chair of the BII, an organisation that I have long admired.”

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