WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—April 9, 2003—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) has recruited two seasoned executives to head up its fast-growing W Hotels brand.
Steve Marx, a former Kimpton Hotels executive who opened many of the country`s first boutique hotels and is regarded as an industry pioneer has been named Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations for the brand. Meanwhile, Polo Brands executive and retail industry veteran Ross Klein has joined W as Chief Marketing Officer.
“When we opened our first W hotel less than five years ago, we were confident that unique style and substance would resonate with a segment of travelers,” said Barry S. Sternlicht, Starwood`s Chairman and CEO. “W has had an overwhelming reception in the marketplace. As a result, we have 20 W hotels open or under construction and we are now at the point of rapidly expanding the brand both in the U.S. and abroad. We needed to recruit executives who are creative and willing to push the envelope a bit, and who also understand our version of “boutique” which combines distinctive product with great W service. Steve and Ross are innovators in their fields, and should enable us to enhance the W philosophy as we continue to grow the brand to target a goal of 50 hotels in the next five years.”
A 30-year hotel industry veteran, Marx was one of the original boutique hoteliers during his tenure as Vice President of Hotels at Kimpton Hotels in the 1990s. As head of the Kimpton Hotel Group, Marx opened 13 hotels including the Hotel Triton in San Francisco, plus the original Monaco hotel, the Hotel Monaco in San Francisco, and several other Monaco hotels around the country. Most recently, Marx served as President and COO for the Boutique Hotel Group that operates a number of stylish hotels primarily in New York City including The Hotel Wales, The Franklin Hotel and The Mansfield Hotel. Marx has also served as Executive Vice President, Operations for Loews Hotel and spent many years with Hilton Hotels. In his new role with W, Marx will report to Robert Cotter, Starwood`s President and Chief Operating Officer.
Klein has spent his career in the retail industry, most recently as Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing for Polo Brands for Jones Apparel Group. In this capacity, Klein oversaw all aspects of marketing for Polo Jeans Company, Ralph by Ralph Lauren and Lauren by Ralph Lauren, including strategic marketing plans and creative communication programs for all three brands. Previously he served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing for Sun Apparel, a division of the Jones Apparel Group and headed up marketing for Polo Jeans Company and TO2/Todd Oldham Brands. During his career Klein has amassed significant branding, marketing and creative services experience at Joe Boxer, Bon Jour and Liz Claiborne among others, and has won numerous awards for marketing programs. Klein will report to Sternlicht.
The first W Hotel opened in New York in December 1998. There are now five W Hotels in New York City (W New York, W New York - The Court, W New York - The Tuscany, W New York - Union Square and W New York - Times Square) and 17 hotels brand-wide in the U.S. and abroad. Three new W Hotels are also currently under construction in Mexico City, Mexico, Seoul, Korea and Montreal, Canada.
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 105,000 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.
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