|Steve Heyer will now oversee a global empire of hotels and resorts.
STEVE HEYER NEARS JOB WITH STARWOOD HOTELS
COO to Leave Coca-Cola on Sept. 1
STEVE HEYER IS LEAVING COCA-COLA
President-COO Says He Will Seek New Opportunities
STEVE HEYER ENDORSES NEW COKE CHAIRMAN-CEO
Says He and E. Neville Isdell Will Be 'Great Partners'
DARK HORSE CANDIDATE NAMED COCA-COLA CHIEF
Former Coke Bottling Executive E. Neville Isdell Becomes Chairman-CEO
ANALYST SAYS COKE SHOULD NAME HEYER CEO
Suggests Board Make Chairman Separate Position
CONTROVERSY SWIRLS OVER COCA-COLA TOP POST
Douglas Daft's Retirement Sparks Sharp Debate Over Steven Heyer
COKE CHAIRMAN-CEO DOUGLAS DAFT TO STEP DOWN
Douglas N. Daft Cites 'Personal Wishes' For Departure
The statement confirmed AdAge.com's Aug. 13 report that Mr. Heyer was in the final stages of working out a new employement deal with the global hotel company. His last day at Coca-Cola was Sept. 1.
He succeeds company founder Barry S. Sternlicht, who will becomes executive chairman, according to a company statement.
Mr. Heyer, formerly president and chief operating officer of Coca-Cola, left the beverage giant after being passed over for the CEO position. During his time at Coke, Mr. Heyer established himself as a leading authority in the new methods of marketing that combine traditional advertising and entertainment content.
Moving into the role of executive chairman and chief design officer, Mr. Sternlicht will trim his daily oversight of Starwood and focus on long-term strategies, capital investment, real estate and design matters.
Mr. Heyer was chosen over several candidates, said Daniel W. Yih, a Starwood board member who was co-chair with Mr. Sternlicht of the CEO search committee.
"Steve embodies all that we were searching for in a new CEO," Mr. Sternlicht said in a statement, calling Mr. Heyer a "seasoned operator with vast corporate experience on a global scale across multiple consumer businesses. He is a marketer who has championed some of the world's most valuable and global brands. He is an innovator who conceived, crafted and cultivated countless new products and partnerships over his career."
Mr. Sternlict said Mr. Heyer would help achieve his vision for the company, "to build a culture maniacally focused on the customer and a revenue/profitability driven enterprise."
Mr. Heyer appears well-matched for his new employer. "Starwood has clearly positioned itself as the innovator in the hotel industry and has made fantastic strides to distinguish its brands and speak to its customers in a unique and meaningful way," Mr. Heyer said in the statement.
"The company is young, dynamic, innovative, entrepreneurial and has wonderful brands, asset and people. I look forward to building upon the momentum that Barry and his team have built, and collaborating with them to take the company to a new level."
Coke shares down 25%
Since E. Neville Isdell became CEO of the company, Coke shares have fallen 25%. Last week, the company issued a profit warning and appeared to lay most of the blame on Mr. Heyer and former Chairman-CEO Doug Daft.