Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) announced today the promotions of Steve Hankin and Geoff Ballotti. Steve Hankin, currently President STARS (Starwood Technology and Revenue Systems), has been named Chief Marketing Officer and President STARS. Geoff Ballotti, currently EVP, North America Hotel Operations, has been named President, North America. Both Hankin and Ballotti will report directly to Robert F. Cotter, Starwood`s Chief Operating Officer.
“The lines between technological advances, traditional marketing initiatives and distribution strategies continue to cross,” said Cotter. “The need for quick field response to new initiatives has never been more apparent. To further enhance our speed to market capability and operational effectiveness, this new realignment utilizes the proven talents and accomplishments of Steve and Geoff at the highest level.”
Hankin takes on his new role of Chief Marketing Officer after having accomplished a great deal during his tenure as President of STARS. Hankin built STARS into an outstanding marketing, distribution, and technology organization. His focus on talent has served Starwood well in building the innovative and effective team that STARS has become. The STARS team encompasses areas such as interactive marketing, direct marketing, SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest), customer marketing, property technology, pricing and distribution, and the efficient operation of Starwood`s call centers. In addition to his current responsibilities for STARS, Hankin will take on marketing responsibility for the company`s Westin, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, St. Regis and The Luxury Collection brands on a worldwide basis.
“This centralization of our marketing efforts will involve pulling together our brand marketing and brand operations under Steve`s leadership,” said Bob Cotter. “Steve`s leadership and demonstrated results have established him as uniquely qualified for his new role. Steve`s new organization will now be capable of aligning, integrating, and coordinating all of our marketing efforts, by brand, globally.”
Ballotti, a fourteen year Starwood veteran, has held a series of marketing and operations roles of increasing responsibility over his career. As EVP, North America Hotel Operations Ballotti oversaw the successful implementation of Starwood`s regional operating strategy, which includes executing one of Starwood`s largest service programs to date in conjunction with the Sheraton brand team - Sheraton`s Service Promise. In his new role, Ballotti will assume North America responsibilities including operations, sales and marketing, finance, human resources, franchise, owner relations, Six Sigma, and purchasing.
“North America has made excellent progress culturally under Geoff`s leadership with a rededication to training and a renewed focus on making Six Sigma part of the way we do business, ” said Cotter. “Geoff has also led the organization to make great strides in areas such as Owner Relations and Purchasing positioning him perfectly to take on this expanded global role.”
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 740 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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