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2012-03-21

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Taps Luxury Marketer Vincent Gillet To Lead W Hotels And Le Méridien Brands

NEW YORK – March 21, 2012 - Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) today announced that it has named Vincent Gillet the Global Brand Leader for W Hotels Worldwide and Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts. With more than 20 years of luxury lifestyle brand management and global expertise with companies such as LVMH, Chanel and Pernod Ricard, Gillet has spent the past three years as Chief Marketing Officer for Six Senses Resorts & Spas, based in Bangkok, Thailand. Gillet, 40, will report to Phil McAveety, Starwood’s Chief Brand Officer.  He replaces Eva Ziegler, who has chosen to leave Starwood and return to Europe after a remarkable six years with the company.

“We believe that Vincent’s experience working with global luxury lifestyle brands in key markets will be especially valuable for W Hotels and Le Méridien,” said Phil McAveety, Chief Brand Officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts.  “Vincent’s extensive brand knowledge will no doubt be crucial as we further develop and grow these two great brands.”

As Global Brand Leader for W Hotels and Le Méridien, Gillet will oversee the strategic direction of the brands and their combined portfolio of more than 140 hotels around the world.  In his new role, he will lead the development and execution of the W and Le Méridien brands’ global marketing strategy, guest experience, standards and communications programs and help drive hotel development opportunities.

While at Six Senses, Gillet led the company’s marketing team and was the architect of its brand and sales strategy, resulting in market share gains in emerging markets such as China, Russia and India.  He also spearheaded efforts to align and simplify the Six Senses brand portfolio and developed the strategy to launch a central reservations system as well as an incentive affinity program.  He also had dotted line responsibility for the company’s sales, residential and retail teams.

Prior to joining Six Senses, Gillet worked in senior positions in the luxury beverage and fashion industries, based primarily in London.  He spent six years with the Chanel Group in a variety of marketing communications roles. From there he spent another six years leading key champagne brands, initially with LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton S.A. working on the Moet & Chandon brand in the UK.  In a move to Pernod Ricard, Vincent took on a Country Manager role for the Mumm and Perrier Jouet champagnes.  From there he moved within Pernod Ricard to serve as Global Brand Director for the Stolichnaya brand. The growth of the ‘Stoli’ brand during his four year tenure was exceptional, both in core markets (United States and Europe) and through market introductions (Asian developing markets). In this role he was responsible for global brand positioning, advertising, packaging, brand visual identity, public relations, events and the brand’s innovation pipeline.

Gillet is an M.A graduate of ISC Business School in Paris and will reside with his family in New York.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1090 properties in 100 countries and territories with 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element SM.  The company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.