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Steve Heyer (pictured) has left Starwood Hotels & Resorts after the Board ”lost confidence in his leadership.” Heyer served as CEO and director since October, 2004 and will be replaced by chairman and director, Bruce Duncan, until a replacement is appointed.
”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,” said Starwood Board chairman of the governance and nominating committee, Stephen Quazzo.
”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 confident Starwood”s performance will not miss a beat.”
Heyer gave little away when commenting on his move: ”I was asked to lead the company through a complex transition and at the same time create an exciting platform for future growth. 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.”
During Heyer”s term as CEO, Starwood has focussed on reducing its investment in owned real estate and increasing the management and franchise sides of the business. This involved the sale of 38 properties to Host Marriott Corporation in 2005, for an approximate $4.1bn (”2.08bn).
Interim CEO, Duncan explained that same strategy is to be pursued in the future: ”The Board is confident in Starwood”s prospects and focussed on continuing to build shareholder value. I look forward to leading Starwood as we execute its successful continuing transformation from a cyclical real estate business into a leading global hotel operator and lifestyle company.”