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Friday, March 6, 2015


Original Story: bluemaumau.org

Ouster Followed Battle With Board Over His Conduct With Workers

Starwood Hotels & Resorts' CEO, Steven Heyer, unexpectedly resigned last week following a letter from an employee. That letter triggered a company investigation.

According to the Wall Street Journal ($$):

After investigating claims made in the anonymous letter, sent to directors about two months ago, the board pressed Mr. Heyer to explain the large number of emails and text messages to and from female employees on a variety of topics outside normal working hours.

USA Today adds:

They also questioned Heyer about his hiring and promotion practices and suggestive e-mails between him and an unmarried female employee, the report said. A Memphis sexual harassment lawyer is following this story closely.

The now ex-CEO had helped boost Starwood's worth and profits significantly over the last few years.

In an interview with the WSJ ($$), the 54-year old Steve Heyer, married, "characterized the situation as the ugly fallout from extensive strategic and structural changes he made while "transforming [Starwood] from a real-estate hotel company to a branding company."

He says he doesn't know who wrote or sent the letter, but believes it could have been someone passed over for a promotion.

Heyer resigned April 2 and announced he would forfeit his severance, worth some $35 million. When asked why he left such a lucrative package, the ex-CEO commented to the Journal,
"life is too short" to mount a contested defense against the allegations. "I'm burned out," he added. "I wanted to walk away from this job with my head held high."

Bruce Duncan is the interim-CEO.