Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced that longtime leader, Osvaldo V. Librizzi, will step down from his current role, Co-President of The Americas, at the end of the year and will serve as non-executive Chairman until the end of 2015. Sergio Rivera, currently Co-President of the Americas, will become President of the Americas and assume full responsibility for the region, and Jorge Giannattasio, currently SVP CFO of the Americas, has been appointed to the role of Chief of Latin America Operations & Global Initiatives, and this summer will begin overseeing regional operations, reporting directly to Mr. Rivera. As part of his planned retirement, Mr. Librizzi will work closely with Mr. Rivera and Mr. Giannattasio to ensure a smooth transition throughout the year.
Frits van Paasschen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Starwood, said, "On behalf of the entire Starwood team, I would like to thank Osvaldo for his many contributions and dedication to our company over the last nearly 40 years. Osvaldo helped shape our organization in Latin America, growing both our geographic footprint across Mexico, and Central and South America, as well as our talented team in the region. Today we have nearly 8,500 associates and 80 hotels inLatin America, with another almost 20 hotels in our pipeline."
van Paasschen continued, "We always view change as an opportunity for other capable leaders within Starwood to take on new roles and challenges, and Jorge Giannattasio is the ideal leader to manage our expanding operations in Latin America. Under the experienced direction of Serge and Jorge, we are confident Starwood will continue to build on its already strong position as the leading high-end hotel operator in the region."
Osvaldo Librizzi said, "I'm lucky to have spent almost four decades building Starwood in Latin America, and I am proud of our team and all that we've accomplished together. I've had a rewarding career, and while change is never easy, now is the right time for me to begin the transition. Our business in Latin America has a great growth trajectory, and I look forward to working with Serge and Jorge to ensure a smooth transition in the months ahead and, longer term, to continuing to work with Starwood to support our development throughout the region."
Mr. Librizzi began his career with Starwood in 1975 as Assistant Controller at the Sheraton Buenos Aires and served in numerous and progressively senior management positions during the course of his career. Previous to his appointment as Co-President of the Americas, Mr. Librizzi served as President of Latin America, a position he held for 22 years and during which Starwood grew to become the largest hotel operator in the region. Mr. Librizzi also served as Senior Vice President and Director of Operations, Latin America Division; Vice President, Latin America and Caribbean Division; Area Manager, South America; and General Manager of the Sheraton Hotels in Santiago de Chile and in Buenos Aires.
Jorge Giannattasio joined Starwood in May 2004 as VP Finance for Latin America, rising in the ranks to most recently serve as SVP Finance for the Americas(Latin America and North America). In that role, he was responsible for the finance organization in 656 owned, managed and franchised properties across 21 countries. Previously, Mr. Giannattasio held senior management positions at Boston Scientific Corporation and Deloitte and Touche both in Latin America and the U.S.
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