Frits van Paasschen has resigned as the chief executive of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide with immediate effect.
The decision, by “mutual agreement”, comes a week after the hotel operator confirmed it would spin-off its timeshare business.
Starwood director Adam Aron has been appointed interim chief executive of the group – which operates the Luxury Collection, Sheraton and St. Regis brands – while the search begins for a permanent new leader.
“The board believes now is the right time to take steps to accelerate Starwood’s growth, improve performance, and sharpen our focus on operational excellence,” Starwood chairman Bruce Duncan said in a statement earlier.
“We are fortunate to have on our board a talented and experienced business builder in Adam Aron who is prepared to step into the chief executive position on an interim basis.
“Adam has been a Starwood director for nearly a decade and has deep hospitality industry experience as former chief executive of both Vail Resorts and Norwegian Cruise Line.
“He is very familiar with our strategy, brands and leaders around the globe, and we are confident Starwood won’t miss a beat as he steps in to lead the company during this transitional period.”
Paasschen became Starwood chief executive in September 2007.
He is expected to continue as a consultant to assist in the transition.
“Frits has made many important contributions over the past seven years to Starwood’s successful evolution into a global company with leading lifestyle brands that possess distinct competitive advantages,” Duncan added.
“He’s put innovation and technology leadership at the forefront, while building a culture of collaboration across a dynamic organisation.
“On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Frits for his outstanding service and wish him the best in his future endeavours.”