After a five-month search, Starwood Hotels & Resorts has announced that the former CEO of Coors Brewing Company, Frits van Paasschen, will join Starwood as its CEO, effective September 24. Bruce Duncan, who served as Starwood's interim CEO after Steven Heyer was dismissed, will continue as Starwood's chairman. This caps a long period of executive uncertainty for the multi-branded hotel company, whose brands include the W, Westin and St. Regis. Heyer was ousted after clashes with Starwood's board over his management style (allegations of sexual malfeasance later surfaced, which only exacerbated the situation). The hiring of van Paasschen, 46, is similar to the initial hiring of Heyer as they both are branding gurus, Heyer with the Coca-Cola Company, van Paasschen with Coors and Nike.
"Frits is an extremely talented and proven leader with demonstrated success in driving both top and bottom-line growth on a global scale across a variety of leading consumer lifestyle companies," said Duncan. Van Paasschen will look to extend his knowledge across Starwood's stable of nine brands. "This is an exciting period of transformation for Starwood," said van Paasschen, "as it establishes itself as a leading global hotel operator and lifestyle company with many outstanding brands."