Major shake up in Starwood leadership

13th Apr 2012
Major shake up in Starwood leadership

Starwood has made several changes to its leadership team following the decision to retire by three senior leaders.

Matt Avril, president of the hotel group; Denise Coll, president of Starwood North America; and Miguel Ko, chairman and president of Starwood Asia Pacific will all step down.

The planned retirements will take place over several months allowing for a smooth transition to their successors.

During the process, Starwood will realign its structure by combining its North America and Latin America operations together into the Americas.

This move recognises the significant commercial overlap between the two regions and will better position both to take advantage of accelerating travel trends within the Americas.

The combination of the two groups also acknowledges Latin America’s significant growth opportunity by creating a better support system and infrastructure to maximise this potential.

In 2011, Latin America was Starwood’s fastest growing region in terms of both net rooms and RevPAR growth.

In addition, given that the geographic footprint of SVO falls entirely within the region, Starwood has made the strategic decision to incorporate SVO into the Americas as well.

In recognition of another vital part of the business, Starwood will also elevate its presence in China to reflect that country’s great importance for Asia Pacific and the company.

As part of the changes, the presidents of the Americas; Asia Pacific; and Europe, Africa & the Middle East will now report directly to Starwood chief executive Frits van Paasschen.

Fresh Faces at Starwood

A number of specific leadership appointments that will be effective on July 1st.

Sergio Rivera, currently president and chief executive of Starwood Vacation Ownership, has been promoted to co-president of Starwood Americas.

Rivera started his Starwood career 23 years ago at Starwood Vacation Ownership predecessor, Vistana Resorts as corporate controller.

Osvaldo Librizzi, currently president of Latin America and a 37-year Starwood veteran, has been promoted to co-President of the Americas, alongside Rivera, with primary responsibility for Latin America.

Stephen Ho, currently senior vice president of acquisitions and development for Starwood China, has been promoted to president of Asia Pacific.

He has been with Starwood for 31 years, having begun his career as a pastry chef.

Qian Jin, currently head of Starwood’s operations for China, has been promoted to the title of president of Greater China.

Christie Hicks, senior vice president, Starwood sales organisation, a 12-year Starwood veteran, will now report directly to Frits van Paasschen.

John Peyton, currently senior vice president of operations for Starwood North America, has been promoted to the new role of senior vice president of global initiatives. In this position, he will drive the implementation of key strategic priorities across the globe, including procurement, revenue management, and food and beverage.

Finally, Robert Hermany, currently senior vice president of operations, North America, has been promoted to replace Peyton in an expanded role of chief of North American Operations & Global Initiatives.

In this new role, Hermany will manage North American operations, working in close coordination with Peyton to implement key global initiatives across North America.


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