While this perhaps isn’t of much interest to the average guest, it is big industry news. Starwood’s CEO, Frits van Paasschen, has suddenly resigned. The resignation apparently came by “mutual agreement” between him and the board of directors.
While I’ve never interacted with him personally, he has always struck me as a passionate and energetic guy, so it’s sad to see him go. For example, here’s a CNBC Mad Money interview he did a while back, which gives you a good idea of his personality:
The Stamford, Connecticut-based hotel company has been led by van Paasschen since September 2007. Last week, Starwood announced plans to spin off its timeshare business as a separate company, but Duncan said that was unrelated.
Shares of Starwood shot up 3 percent to $81.17 in morning trading.
Aron told investors Tuesday that Starwood can improve its revenue and speed up the number of hotels it has under development.
“We can do better,” he said on the call.
Van Paasschen, 53, will remain with Starwood as a consultant to help with the transition.
It’s interesting to note that:
- Starwood isn’t announcing a permanent CEO replacement immediately, which seems a bit odd if this was planned out and as mutual as they’re making it sound
- Van Paasschen will stay on as a consultant, which suggests he’s not necessarily moving on to another gig immediately (and if he’s not immediately moving on to another gig at his age, chances are this wasn’t his choice)
So we can only speculate as to what has happened, though the circumstances suggest to me that this may not have been as “mutual” as they’re making it sound.
St. Regis Deer Valley, a Starwood hotel
I’ll be curious to see who Starwood finds to replace him, and how his/her strategy will differ from the current one.
What do you make of this shakeup in Starwood’s management?