June 06, 2011

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is taking its commitment to growth in China seriously: The company will move its senior leadership team to Shanghai for one month. From June 8 through July 11, Starwood president and CEO Frits van Paasschen and seven of the company's top executives will conduct business on a 12-hour time difference with their headquarters in White Plains, New York.

"With properties in nearly 100 countries, Starwood is no longer an American company that happens to run some hotels overseas. Today, we're a global company that happens to be based in New York," said van Paasschen in a statement. "Eighty percent of our future pipeline is outside of North America, and nowhere is more emblematic of our global growth than China, where we will open one hotel every two weeks this year." Starwood currently has more than 70 hotels in China and another 90 properties in the pipeline. 

More than 20 Starwood executives from the U.S. and international locations will join the leadership team throughout the course of the relocation. The group will delve into Starwood's extensive business in China, meeting with local customers, partners and developers, while also touring new properties throughout the country.

Starwood intends to implement a month-long global relocation annually. Its next high-growth target markets include Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and India. "It is not just language that gets lost in translation, but also cultural nuances. The companies that will break away in an increasingly global world will be those that are most globally fluent," said van Paasschen.