Starwood CEO resigns as resort company reorganizes

Starwood Hotels CEO Frits van Paasschen has resigned by mutual agreement, the resort giant said Tuesday. Starwood shares were up over 2 percent in morning trading on the decision. 

Rick Scuteri/AP/File
Former Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. president CEO Frits Van Paasschen speaks in 2012. Paasschen resigned a week after the hotel operator announced the spinoff of its timeshare business, the hotel company announced Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc said Chief Executive Frits van Paasschen had resigned by mutual agreement, a week after the hotel operator announced the spinoff of its timeshare business.

Starwood, the owner of the St. Regis and Sheraton hotel brands, named Director Adam Aron as interim CEO and said it had started looking internally and externally for a permanent CEO.

"The board believes now is the right time to take steps to accelerate Starwood's growth, improve performance, and sharpen our focus on operational excellence," Chairman Bruce Duncan said in a statement on Tuesday.

Starwood, which is focusing on operating properties instead of owning them, forecast a lower-than-expected full-year profit last week, partly due to a stronger dollar.

Paasschen, who became Starwood's CEO in September 2007, will continue as a consultant to assist in the transition, the company said.

Frits has made many important contributions over the past seven years to Starwood’s successful evolution into a global company with leading lifestyle brands that possess distinct competitive advantages," Duncan said.  "He’s put innovation and technology leadership at the forefront, while building a culture of collaboration across a dynamic organization. On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Frits for his outstanding service and wish him the best in his future endeavors.

"The Board believes now is the right time to take steps to accelerate Starwood’s growth, improve performance, and sharpen our focus on operational excellence. We are fortunate to have on our Board a talented and experienced business builder in Adam Aron who is prepared to step into the CEO position on an interim basis. Adam has been a Starwood director for nearly a decade and has deep hospitality industry experience as former CEO of both Vail Resorts and Norwegian Cruise Line. He is very familiar with our strategy, brands and leaders around the globe, and we are confident Starwood won’t miss a beat as he steps in to lead the Company during this transitional period.”

Starwood's shares were up 1.1 percent at $79.45 in premarket trading.

Up to Friday's close, the stock had fallen about 3 percent this year, compared with a 2.4 percent rise in the Dow Jones U.S. Hotels Index. (Reporting by Ankit Ajmera and Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.