Starwood Vacation Ownership announced today a number of senior management changes. Jeff Adler, president and co-chief executive officer of Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., will retire at the end of 2003. Effective April 1, Adler will assume the role of vice chairman of Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc. and will remain a member of its board of directors. Raymond L. “Rip” Gellein, Jr. will continue in his current role as chairman and chief executive of Starwood Vacation Ownership, the interval ownership division of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc (NYSE: HOT), one of the largest hotel companies in the world with brands including Westin Hotels & Resorts, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and W Hotels.
Adler, acknowledged as an architect of today`s vacation ownership industry, was formerly president of Vistana, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership. Starwood purchased Vistana in 1999 and renamed it Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc.
“Jeff helped lead the successful integration of Starwood Vacation Ownership when it became part of the Starwood family, and as a result, SVO has become an increasingly important part of Starwood`s growth plan,” said Barry S. Sternlicht, chairman and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “He is a pioneer in the industry, and we are grateful that he will continue to be a vital member of the SVO team.”
According to Sternlicht, Adler, in his new role, will focus on strategic issues including CRM initiatives, new product development, as well as laying the groundwork for opening new markets.
“This is both one of the easiest and most difficult decisions I`ve ever made,” said Adler. “It is difficult because I`ve spent more than 20 years of my life helping to grow the company and build our management team, but easy knowing that I am leaving Starwood Vacation Ownership in the most capable hands in the business.”
In related news, Gellein announced the promotions of Matt Avril and Sergio Rivera to senior vice presidents, managing directors of operations, effective April 1. In these roles, Avril and Rivera will assume the joint operating responsibilities for the divisions currently managed by Adler.
“We can not adequately thank Jeff for his dedication to the company that he has so keenly and cleverly fashioned over the last 20 years, but I think the fact that we are able to promote from within, and boast the best executive management team in the industry, speaks volumes about Jeff`s leadership and passion,” said Gellein.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 750 properties in more than 80 countries and 110,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. With internationally renowned brands, Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts including: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W brands, as well as Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwood.com.