< PrevNext > Sebastien Bazin, AccorHotels chairman & CEO Intrepid Explorer By Julie Sickel / December 12, 2018 / Contact Reporter Share Bazin joins BTN's Most Influential list for the third consecutive year. Accor had plenty of momentum going into this year, with a number of acquisitions the company had announced in 2017 set to close at the start of 2018. And close Accor did on the purchases of France's Gekko Group and Australia's Mantra Group, a deal that made Accor the largest hotelier in Australia and gave it a vital foothold to attract travelers across the Asia/Pacific region. But the hotel industry's most eager acquirer of recent years didn't stop there.This year, Accor acquired a 50 percent stake in Mantis, a South African operator of five-star properties and lodges; it fully acquired restaurant reservation and table management platform ResDiary; it purchased Movenpick Hotels & Resorts from Switzerland's Movenpick Holding and Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding for 482 million euros in cash; it acquired 85 percent of Louisville-based hospitality management company 21c Museum Hotels for $51 million; it agreed to acquire Chile's Atton Hotels for a total cash consideration of 89 million euros; and it bought a 50 percent stake in lifestyle hospitality group SBE Entertainment Group for $125 million.The company also this year completed the merger of its Le Club AccorHotels loyalty platform with that of FRHI, which Accor acquired in 2016. Additionally, it formed a strategic loyalty and IT partnership with China's Ctrip and struck a loyalty deal with Eurostar's Club Eurostar platform.Not all of Accor's new ventures have turned out to be sterling successes. During the second quarter, Accor wrote off 246 million euros on its previous acquisitions of Onefinestay and John Paul and it initiated a strategic review of those businesses in July. Accor's executive leadership is still committed to making those businesses work, deputy CEO Jean-Jacques Morin said during Accor's third-quarter earnings call, but it's not sure how it plans to do so just yet.Nevertheless, Bazin's willingness to boldly explore and invest in areas beyond traditional hotel stays—and even to stumble in those areas—is refreshing in an industry characterized by a historically slow reaction to change. It's also influential. While other hoteliers are testing the waters in areas like home rentals (Marriott International) and hostels (Hilton), Accor long ago dove in completely and has emerged with unmatched insight to carry into the future.Bazin has described Accor as a lodging company on a quest to stick in the minds of consumers beyond when they stay in hotels. "Will we succeed? I don't know," he said during an investor presentation in February via an English translator. "Will we give it a try? For sure."