ralph lauren polo shirts on sale Starwood Taps Former Coca
Steven Heyer formerly Coca Cola Co. president and COO on Oct. 1 officially became CEO of Starwood Hotels Resorts Worldwide, replacing Barry Sternlicht, who relinquished his CEO responsibilities. Sternlicht, who remains Starwood executive chairman and chief design officer, in October 2003 announced that he intended to step down from the everyday running of the company. Starwood in recent months, for example, acquired the Bliss chain of spas and accelerated the marketing of luxury bedding and related goods through online catalogs and its hotel retail outlets. An earlier example of Sternlicht’s recruiting philosophy was the choice of Ross Klein from Polo/Ralph Lauren to be head of marketing for the W brand. Heyer was on vacation the week leading up to his start date and unavailable for comment. In announcing the appointment, Sternlicht described Heyer’s non hotel background as an asset. “Coming from outside the industry, Steve will look at Starwood, explore new avenues for growth globally and approach our core hotel business with a fresh set of eyes,” Sternlicht said. Prior to Coca Cola, Heyer was president and COO of Turner Broadcasting Systems, which is part of Time Warner, and sat on the parent company’s operating committee. He also has held senior positions at Young Rubicam Advertising Worldwide and managed the marketing practice at Booz Allen Hamilton consultants. JPMorgan Chase analyst Harry Curtis praised Heyer’s background as a strong brand manager. Curtis also was positive about Sternlicht’s continued involvement in the company. UBS Investment Research analyst Will Truelove noted that Heyer was responsible for a change in focus at Coca Cola from volume to profits and margins. Analysts, however, voiced one reservation. In an earlier attempt at decentralization, Starwood in 2001 named Atef Mankarios president of the St. Regis brand and allowed he and his team to work in Dallas. Within two years, Mankarios had left the company and St. Regis/Luxury Collection and Four Points by Sheraton. At the end of the second quarter, the company had 750 hotels around the world.