Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced today that the company has named its Chief Financial Officer, Vasant Prabhu, Vice Chairman, in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the company. Starwood’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Frits van Paasschen, made the announcement following the company’s recent Board of Directors meeting.
“Vasant’s leadership and strategic vision were in sharp relief in 2009 as Starwood navigated the toughest year our industry has endured since the Great Depression,” said van Paasschen. “His efforts and collaboration ensured that Starwood did not just survive the global economic crisis, but actually emerged stronger, with our financial house in order, well poised to take advantage of opportunities we expect will arise.”
According to van Paasschen, the company significantly cut costs in 2009, raised over $1.6 billion in cash from a broad range of transactions, reduced its debt by over $1 billion and paid down debt maturities from 2010 through 2013.
Prabhu, whose new title is Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer, will continue to report to van Paasschen. In his new role, he is not a member of the Company’s Board of Directors.
Prabhu, 50, joined Starwood in 2003. Prior to joining Starwood, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Safeway Inc., one of North America’s largest food retailers. He also served as President of Information and Media Group for The McGraw Hill Companies and Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for Pepsi Cola International where he was responsible for the company’s franchise and owned operations in more than 100 countries.
Prabhu holds an M.B.A. in Marketing and Finance from the University of Chicago and a B.S. in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, India. He and his family reside in Greenwich, Connecticut.