White Plains, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced the appointment of Eva Ziegler as Global Brand Leader for W Hotels Worldwide. In her new role, Vienna-born Ziegler will be responsible for leading the global development and growth strategy for the innovative and category-busting W Hotels Worldwide. With 10 years of proven success, largely in North America, W Hotels will triple its footprint by 2011, assuming its role on the global stage with properties scheduled to open in primary, vibrant international markets from Paris to Milan, Barcelona to London, Santiago to Vieques Island, Dubai to Doha, Hollywood to South Beach, and Shanghai to Bali. In addition to overseeing the global launch of W Hotels, Ziegler will continue in her role leading Le Méridien as the brand continues its re-launch globally. As Global Brand Leader for the two contemporary design-led brands, Ziegler will define the vision and brand strategy across all disciplines.
"Eva's branding expertise and broad international experience will be invaluable to Starwood as we meaningfully launch W Hotels outside of North America," said Phil McAveety, Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. "As a highly experienced marketer and business professional who has spent her career working for international Fortune 500 companies such as Toyota and Coca Cola, Eva knows how to build distinctive and compelling global brands and adapt them to ensure they are locally relevant. She is the perfect candidate at the right time to take these two compelling lifestyle brands to the next level."
Prior to this appointment, Ziegler held the role of Global Brand Leader of Le Méridien, where she was responsible for defining the vision and brand strategy across all disciplines for the renowned international brand. Under Ziegler's vision, Le Méridien has re-positioned itself as a cultural hub for the creative mind leading to a range of innovative approaches and strategies. For example, she developed an innovative strategy through curated experiences by engaging a Cultural Curator and forming a group of cultural innovators, called LM100, each of whom define and enrich the guest experience.
Since joining the company in 2005, Ziegler has played an important role in successfully integrating Le Méridien into Starwood's process and systems, resulting in impressive performance figures. In fact, Le Méridien's integration into Starwood's larger, stable, multi-branded hotel system has enabled the brand to thrive. A critical milestone in Le Meridien's transformation has been the consolidation and renovation of the brand's portfolio. Since Starwood acquired the brand, Le Méridien has eliminated more than 30 hotels, and by 2011, will have renovated more than 50 percent of its existing portfolio. The brand also plans to open more than 20 hotels and resorts across the world within the next three years. All of this will result in a high-quality, on brand portfolio.
Before joining Starwood, Ziegler was the Director of Le Rendez-Vous Toyota and played a leading role in developing and launching the cutting edge European Brand Experience Center on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, France. She has spent her career working for international Fortune 500 companies such as Coca-Cola and Saatchi & Saatchi. Ziegler earned her degree from the University of Economics Vienna, Austria.
W Hotels is an innovative luxury lifestyle brand and the hotel category buster with 26 properties in the most vibrant destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access to a world of "Wow." Each hotel offers a unique mix of innovative design and passions around design, architecture, fashion, music, entertainment, pop culture, and everything in between. W Hotels are unique and individual expressions of modern living, reflected in the brand's sensibility to a holistic lifestyle experience with cutting-edge design, contemporary restaurant concepts, glamorous nightlife experiences, and signature spas. With 10 years of proven success, W Hotels will triple its footprint by 2011. In North America and Latin America, W Hotels have been announced in Austin, Atlanta, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Hoboken, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Downtown New York, Santiago, South Beach, and Washington, D.C. In Europe, W Hotels have been announced in Athens, Barcelona, London, Manchester, Milan and St. Petersburg. In Asia, W has announced properties in Bangkok, Guangzhou, Macao-Studio City, Shanghai and Yokohama. In Africa and the Middle East, W has announced properties in Marrakech, Amman, Doha, and Dubai. W has plans to open W Retreats in Bali, Koh Samui, Vieques Island and Verbier, the latter of which will serve as W Hotels' first ski retreat.
Le Méridien brand, currently represented by 110 properties in 50 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) in November 2005. Since then, Le Méridien has gone through a brand revitalization, which included appointing a full-time Cultural Curator – French arts-provocateur Jérôme Sans – and transforming numerous guest touch points, thus brining unique and interactive experiences to its guests. With close to 80 of its properties located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, Le Méridien provides a strong international complement to Starwood's primarily North American holdings. Plans call for dynamic expansion of Le Méridien hotels and resorts within the next five years, concentrating in the U.S., Latin America, and Asia-Pacific, including destinations such as India, Thailand and China. Le Méridien recently opened new hotels in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Shimei Bay (China), will open in Dallas and Philadelphia in the coming months, and has recently signed new hotel deals in Taipei, Xiamen, Chongqing Nan'an, and Qingdao (China).
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 930 properties in approximately 97 countries and 145,000 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, and the recently launched AloftSM, and ElementSM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts.
Source: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.