President and CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Frits van Paasschen is President and Chief Executive Officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., having joined the company in 2007. Starwood is the world's largest and most global operator of high-end hotels, with well over 1,000 properties in 100 countries. Its nine brands are: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Westin, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and Element. In addition to hotels, Starwood operates premier time-share ownership resorts.
During Frits’ tenure, Starwood has transformed itself into a global company. Today, nearly 60 percent of its existing hotels – and 80 percent of its planned openings – are outside of the United States. Frits has visited more than 400 Starwood properties in over 40 countries. During the summer of 2011, Starwood’s Senior Leadership Team will operate out of China for one month.
Starwood is experiencing unprecedented growth, having emerged from the global economic crisis with a lean cost structure and a strong balance sheet. In addition to gaining market share, it has opened a record 250 hotels in the past three years, and an additional 300 are under construction. Both W and St. Regis have doubled their footprint, and Aloft became the fastest and first global launch of any new hotel brand. Starwood’s largest brand, Sheraton, underwent a $6-billion revitalization program and is now seeing the best performance in its 75-year history.
Frits, 50, has spent most of his career working for global lifestyle brands. Prior to joining Starwood, he served as President and CEO of Coors Brewing Company where he turned around both market share and profitability. Prior to working at Coors, Frits held several global executive positions at Nike. Ultimately, he ran Nike’s business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, doubling its EBITDA over four years. Frits was a Vice President in finance at Disney Consumer Products and began his career as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and then McKinsey & Company.
Outside of work, Frits has been Chairman of the European-American Industrial Council and he has served as a Director of two NYSE-listed companies, Jones Apparel Group and Oakley. He was a lecturer in economics at Harvard College and has been a guest host on CNBC Squawk Box. Frits currently serves on Conservation International’s Business Advisory Board. He speaks five languages and has both Dutch and U.S. citizenship.
Frits holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in economics and biology from Amherst College. An avid sportsman, he has competed in a variety of endurance events, including 12 marathons, Europe’s longest running relay and the Pikes Peak Ascent. Frits is based at Starwood’s headquarters in White Plains, New York. He and his family reside in Connecticut.