Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced today the appointment of former Coca Cola and Procter & Gamble executive Javier Benito to Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for the global hotel giant. Mr. Benito, 42, will report to Steven J. Heyer, Starwood’s Chief Executive Officer.
In his new role at Starwood, Mr. Benito will be responsible for all aspects of marketing worldwide. He will work closely with Mr. Heyer to redefine brand positioning for Westin, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, The Luxury Collection, St. Regis and W Hotels.
“I’ve had the great pleasure to work with Javier for several years and there is no one I’d rather have lead Starwood’s marketing and branding activities during this seminal point in the company’s young history,” said Mr. Heyer. “Javier is a passionate executive who thoughtfully breaks old rules and creates new ones, which gels perfectly with our desire to move from functional to emotionally relevant branding that will transform Starwood’s stable of well known trademarks to highly-valued brands.”
According to Mr. Heyer, Starwood has embarked upon several new marketing collaborations unique to the hotel category that Mr. Benito will now lead. In an effort to leverage the emotional and cultural influence of entertainment, Starwood recently engaged Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the world’s leading entertainment, talent and marketing agency, to strategically infuse pop culture into Starwood’s brands and properties. In addition, the company hired renowned brand architect Scott Bedbury, a former Starbucks CMO and Nike marketing executive, to serve as a brand advisor and consultant to the company as it revamps its marketing and brand strategies.
Mr. Benito brings to Starwood impressive global marketing experience from brand powerhouses Coca Cola and Procter & Gamble. Most recently, Mr. Benito was the U.S. Retail Division President and Chief Marketing Officer for Coca Cola North America where he led a number of successful product launches including Diet Coke with Lime and Coca Cola C2. He joined Coke in 1994 and served in a variety of global positions including Division Marketing Director for Central and Eastern Europe, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Operations for Brazil and Division President of the Nordic and Baltic division. During his seven year tenure at Procter & Gamble, Mr. Benito held positions in the United States and Spain managing brands including Tide, Bold and Mr. Clean.
Mr. Benito will be based in the company’s headquarters in White Plains, NY. He earned a BA in Economics from the University of California San Diego and an MBA from the University of Chicago.