Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Ranks 19th on the 2010 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity(R) List

Starwood Hotels Jumps 20 Rankings from 2009 Ranking Marks the 7th Year Starwood Garners Prestigious Distinction

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT)has been named to The 2010 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity(R) list for its demonstrated use of measurable diversity best practices and results. A total of 449 companies participated this year, up 12 percent from last year. This marks the 7th year that Starwood has been honored with this ranking, and was chosen because of its dedication to creating an environment of inclusion and diversity for its customers and more than 145,000 associates worldwide. As a result of the company's increasing focus on diversity as an internal and external driver of business Starwood moved up from 39th ranking in 2009 to 19th representing a significant jump of 20 rankings this year in an increasingly competitive field of companies. Starwood Hotels & Resortshas demonstrated strength in the four areas measured - CEO Commitment, Human Capital, Corporate and Organizational Communications and Supplier diversity.

"Hiring and retaining diverse talent, contracting with diverse suppliers, and marketing our brands to all potential customers simply just makes sound business sense. Starwood's diversity and inclusion efforts are fundamental components to our company's ability to outperform the competition, increase shareholder value, and show the organization's commitment to the economic growth of all the communities in which we operate. Starwood making the 2010 Top 50 Companies for Diversity List serves as a mile marker that we are headed in the right direction along our journey," said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood.

"Both through its deep community philanthropy and through its efforts to create an increasingly inclusive workplace, Starwood demonstrates it is moving ahead of the pack as a diversity leader. Considering the increase in competition this year, this is a truly impressive achievement," said Luke Visconti, Chief Executive Officer of DiversityInc.

To qualify for the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity, participating companies must have more than 1,000 employees and must fill out a detailed questionnaire based completely on empirical questions. The list, now in its 10th year, is metrics-driven and companies doing business with DiversityInc receive no advantage.

"This list represents the businesses that treat diversity as an ethical, moral priority and a powerful business tool. Far too many companies are way behind the curve and will find themselves in trouble in the next few years and decade," continued Visconti. "A diverse work force changes the character and the culture of a company. Thinking that diversity is merely a 'feel-good' or politically correct strategy without real impact will leave companies on the wrong side of history."

DiversityInc was founded in 1998 as a web-based publication, and a print magazine was launched in 2002.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 992 properties in almost 100 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), Sheraton(R), Westin(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, W(R), Le Méridien(R) and the recently announced Aloft(R) and ElementSM Hotels. 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.

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