By Joe Mortimer
Chairman Bruce W. Duncan to act as interim CEO until board finds replacement.
Steven J. Heyer, CEO and a director of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, has resigned from his position.
Starwood's chairman Bruce W. Duncan will serve as an interim CEO while the board of directors looks for a permanent replacement.
"While the Board appreciates the good work Steve Heyer has done to position Starwood for the future, issues with regard to his management style have led us to lose confidence in his leadership," explained Stephen R. Quazzo, chairman of the Governance and Nominating Committee of the Starwood board.
"Starwood today is performing well and has a strong market position, a winning strategy, and significant growth potential. Given the Company's deep management team and Bruce Duncan's willingness to serve as interim CEO on a full-time basis as long as he is needed, the board is confidant Starwood's performance will not miss a beat."
Duncan has been chairman since May 2005, a director of the company since April 1999, and a trustee of the Trust since August 1995, as well as CEO and a trustee of Equity Residential, the largest publicly traded apartment company in the United States, since April 2002.
Heyer, 54, had been CEO and a director of Starwood since October 2004.
"I was asked to lead the company through a complex transition and at the same time create an exciting platform for future growth," he said.
"I am proud of what we have accomplished in the last two and a half years and believe Bruce Duncan and the team will continue to execute Starwood's strategy with distinction. Starwood is performing extremely well and I am confident it will enjoy continued success in the future."
The company reaffirms its guidance for the full year and first quarter of 2007, which was provided in its 2006 earnings release on February 1, 2007. Starwood will announce its first quarter 2007 financial results on April 26, 2007.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has approximately 850 owned and managed properties in more than 95 countries and 145,000 employees worldwide.