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Paul Dubrule & Gérard Pélisson

Co-Founders of Accor Group

Paul Dubrule & Gérard Pélisson Paul Dubrule and Gérard Pélisson are the co-founders of Paris-based Accor Group, one of the world’s largest conglomerates. Accor is comprised of hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, car rental companies and more. At the time of Dubrule and Pélisson’s induction into the Hall of Honor, Accor Group had earned more than $6 billion in combined revenue and had 3,215 hotels with 352,941 rooms.

Dubrule and Pélisson, both living in the United States in the 1960s, noticed the success of American lodging properties that were located in suburban areas and along major highways. The two decided to bring that idea to France, opening their first American-style Novotel hotel outside of Lille. Soon, the company expanded to include locations at airports and popular vacation sites along seasides and in mountain regions. Accor Group was born.

Dubrule and Pélisson served as co-chairmen of the company and made all management decisions together. They expanded the company quickly, soon creating a new chain of two-star hotels and purchasing a chain of roadside steakhouses. Accor also purchased Mercure, a large hotel chain, in the late 1970s.

After the purchase of Sofitel Hotels in 1982, Novotel and its holdings were incorporated under the name Accor. The purchase of Sofitel was instrumental in this transformation, as these French-style luxury hotels were primarily located in international cities and business centers, near airports, and in the most prestigious tourist areas. Accor was now ready to enter the American marketplace. Beginning in 1979, Accor brought their hotels as well as the seafood restaurant chain, Seafood Broiler, to the United States. In the mid 1980s, Accor invested in a chain of Italian restaurants and entered into a partnership with the bakery and catering company Lenotre. Accor also entered the travel industry, expanding into North and South America, Asia and the South Pacific.

In 1985, a subsidiary of Accor introduced a chain of one-star, budget properties marketed toward vacationing young people and travelers with limited financial resources. Later in the 1980s, the company launched a fast-food chain, and invested in a Paris theme park.

In 1990, Accor made a major move into the U.S. market with its purchase of Motel 6. Accor then purchased a railroad sleeping-car business and more hotels throughout the world. Soon the empire expanded to include more restaurants, car-rental companies and even more ventures.

At the time of their induction into the Hall of Honor, Dubrule and Pélisson were presiding jointly over Accor Group through a supervisory board.