Starwood CEO Resigns 1 Week After Spin-off Announcement


Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ Frits van Paasschen has resigned from his position as CEO. The change was announced Tuesday, February 17th, and was described as a mutual agreement with Starwood’s board of directors.

This comes just a week after the announcement of the Starwood Vacation Ownership spin-off. For the moment, Starwood Director Adam Aron will act as interim CEO and van Paasschen will continue to stay on as a consultant through the transition. Starwood has stated that they are considering both internal and external candidates.

Chairman of the Board, Bruce W. Duncan 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. 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.”

Innovation and growth was a major talking point within Duncan’s statement, and the new timeshare spin-off will be just a small piece of that plan. The entire organization is committed to using innovative technology and practices to accelerate their overall performance.

Duncan continued, “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.”

Van Paasschen shared, “I’m proud of Starwood’s accomplishments and the growth we’ve seen around the world and across all nine of our brands. We have challenged ourselves to deliver on bold plans while continuously finding new ways to provide better experiences for our guests, and it’s clear from our progress that Starwood is now in a strong position for the future. Creating this powerful global platform would not have been possible without the talented team of associates I have been honored to work with, and I am confident that Starwood will enjoy continued success for many years to come.”

Interim CEO Adam Aron has been with Starwood since 2006. Throughout his career with the organization, he has served on the Capital Committee, Audit Committee, Compensation and Option Committee, and the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee. During his time as a director with Starwood, he also worked as the CEO of the Philadelphia 76ers from 2011 to 2013. Prior to his work with Starwood, Aron was the Chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts, Inc. from 1996 to 2006.

Aron commented, “Having served on the Board for almost a decade, I know where Starwood has been and where it’s headed, and am excited to lead the Company as we continue to work to increase value for shareholders and customers. I look forward to working with our talented management team and dedicated associates across the globe as we strive to accelerate our growth strategy and further enhance our world-class hotel brands.”

For more information about Starwood and their recent vacation ownership spin-off, click here.