Stamford, Conn.-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide today announced the resignation of president and CEO Frits van Paasschen (left). Adam Aron, former CEO of both Vail Resorts and Norwegian Cruise Lines, who has been on Starwood's board of directors since 2006, will serve as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is found. Van Paasschen will remain with Starwood as a consultant to help with the transition. His resignation comes less than a week after Christie Hicks, senior vice president of Starwood's sales organization announced she would be leaving after 15 years with the company.
In a conference call on Feb. 16 announcing van Paasschen's resignation, Bruce Duncan, chairman of Starwood's board of directors said, "The board is always focused on the future of the company. And with that comes a viewpoint on leadership. With this in mind, we have come to the conclusion that now is the right time to turn to new leadership to drive execution of Starwood's growth strategy, improve performance, and sharpen our focus on operational excellence." Van Paasschen, who took over the helm of Starwood in 2007, oversaw the rollout of the Aloft and Element brands and the recent acquisition of Design Hotels AG.