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Starwood Hotels & Resorts (HOT) Announces Organizational Changes

 April 12, 2012 10:24 AM

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE:HOT) said its three senior leaders have decided to retire -- Matt Avril, President of the Hotel Group; Denise Coll, President of Starwood North America; and Miguel Ko, Chairman and President of Starwood Asia Pacific.

The planned retirements will take place over the next several months allowing for a smooth transition to their successors. All of the new leaders are being promoted from within the company, to reflect Starwood's long commitment to talent development.

Starwood will realign its structure by combining its North America and Latin America operations together into the Americas. This move recognizes the significant commercial overlap between the two regions and will better position both to take advantage of accelerating travel trends within the Americas.

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

Given that the geographic footprint of Starwood Vacation Ownership (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 leadership in China to reflect that country's great importance for Asia Pacific and the company.

Sergio Rivera, currently President and CEO of Starwood Vacation Ownership, has been promoted to Co-President of Starwood Americas, effective July 1. In his new role, he will co-lead Starwood's operations in the Americas, with primary responsibility for North America and Starwood Vacation Ownership (SVO).

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Osvaldo Librizzi, currently President of Latin America, has been promoted to Co-President of the Americas, effective July 1, 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, effective July 1.

As part of the organizational changes, the Presidents of The Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe, Africa and Middle East will now report directly to Starwood's Chief Executive Frits van Paasschen.

Qian Jin, currently head of Starwood's operations for China, has been promoted to the title of President of Greater China, which reflects his breadth of experience over his 26 years with Starwood, effective July 1.

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, effective July 1. In this position, he will drive the implementation of key strategic priorities across the globe, including procurement, revenue management, and food and beverage.

Peyton will join the Senior Leadership Team and jointly report to Frits van Paasschen and Vasant Prabhu, Starwood's Vice Chairman and CFO. Christie Hicks, Senior Vice President, Starwood Sales Organization, will now report directly into Frits van Paasschen, effective July 1.

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, effective July 1. In this new role, Hermany will manage North American operations, working in close coordination with Peyton to implement key global initiatives across North America. Hermany will report to Sergio Rivera in his new role.

HOT is trading up 0.60% at $55.74 on Thursday. The stock has been trading between $35.78 and $61.70 for the past 52 weeks.



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