Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) 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.
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