Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) announced today the promotion of Robert F. Cotter, President of International Operations to Chief Operating Officer. Cotter will report to Barry Sternlicht, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Reporting directly to Cotter will be Ted Darnall, President, North American Hotel Operations, Osvaldo Librizzi, President, Latin America, Ted Teng, President, Asia Pacific and Sami Zoghbi, President, Africa, India and the Middle East. Including Mr. Cotter, these executives represent over 150 years of hotel industry experience. Also reporting to Mr. Cotter will be the heads of Marketing, Information Technology, Sales and Human Resources.
In his new position, Cotter will assume responsibility for all company operations and will be heavily involved in shaping strategic direction for the Company. He replaces Brenda Barnes, an outside director of the Company, who has served as interim COO since November 4, 1999.
“Bob`s almost 30 years of Starwood and ITT Sheraton experience in Europe, Asia/Pacific and North America uniquely positions him for these new expanded responsibilities,” said Sternlicht. “We are a global operating company focused on lodging. After examining options both inside and outside of the hotel industry, the Board decided that the leader with the right mix of experiences Starwood needs was already with the Company. Bob is an innovative leader who will continue to embrace the challenges and opportunities of the new wired world, as he has demonstrated with leading edge Internet based technology in Europe.”
Cotter was named President, International Operations in December of 1999 after serving as President, Europe for Starwood since March of 1998. Cotter previously served as President, Europe Division, President, Asia-Pacific Division, and held numerous sales and marketing positions in the U.S. and Asia.
A native of Brockton, Mass., Cotter graduated from Boston College in 1973 with a B.A. degree in philosophy. He and his wife and three children are in the process of relocating to the White Plains, NY area.
Mr. Cotter said, “I look forward to a seamless transition as I enter my new role within the organization with an eye toward maintaining and then accelerating our current momentum.”
Starwood, through its St. Regis, Luxury Collection, Westin, Sheraton, Four Points and W brands is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 700 hotels in 80 countries and 120,000 employees at its owned and managed properties.