Starwood restructures leadership team

2nd Sep 2008

Starwood is restructuring its Senior Leadership Team to streamline management and better position the Company for long-term growth.Matthew E. Avril, currently Co-President of Starwood Vacation Ownership (SVO), has been named President of Starwood’s Hotel Group. He succeeds Matt Ouimet, who is leaving the company. Sergio Rivera, who has been co-heading SVO with Mr. Avril, will now have sole management responsibility for this business. Both Mr. Avril and Mr. Rivera will continue to report to Frits van Paasschen, Starwood’s President and Chief Executive Officer, and will continue to serve on Starwood’s Senior Leadership Team.

Mr. Avril, 47, will relocate to Starwood’s headquarters in White Plains, NY and, in his new role, will oversee hotel operations worldwide for Starwood’s nine hotel brands and approximately 900 properties in more than 100 countries. In addition, he will also oversee Starwood’s global sales organization. Mr. Avril has more than 22 years of industry experience, including 16 years at Starwood and Vistana, a vacation ownership company that is now part of SVO. He has extensive experience managing all areas of operations, sales and marketing, association management, and shared services disciplines, and has played a key role in the growth of SVO. Prior to joining Vistana, Mr. Avril, a Certified Public Accountant, worked in public accounting for KPMG Peat Marwick.

Mr. Rivera, 46, who is currently President and Managing Director of Real Estate Development and Co-President of SVO, has been named Chief Executive Officer of SVO. Mr. Rivera will be responsible for the overall performance of Starwood’s Vacation Ownership and Residential Development operations. Mr. Rivera has over 20 years of experience in the industry, including more than 17 years with the company and its predecessor Vistana.

Frits van Paasschen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, said, “We congratulate Matt Avril on his well-deserved promotion, which reflects his important role in growing the SVO business, strong operational and leadership skills, and broad experience at Starwood and within our industry. Matt is a true team player with a passion around guest experience and we believe this appointment will ensure that Starwood continues to achieve our strategic goals and execute our growth and efficiency initiatives across all of our brands. I also look forward to working with Sergio Rivera in his new role as sole head of SVO as we continue to grow our global footprint within this very important segment of our business.”

Mr. van Paasschen added, “I continue to be impressed with the talent we have within this organization driving the growth of our brands and global footprint. As discussed on our last earnings call, in light of current economic conditions and as a result of our organic growth over the years, we are also working to streamline our organization, reduce costs, improve efficiency and ensure we are properly structured for long-term growth. Today’s management changes will streamline our senior leadership team, enable us to operate more efficiently, better serve our divisions and continue to maintain the level of service our customers expect from our global portfolio of brands.”


Mr. van Paasschen continued, “On behalf of the Board and Senior Leadership Team, I would also like to thank Matt Ouimet for his contributions to Starwood over the past two years. We wish him well in his future endeavors.” 


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