Starwood appoints new European president, plans 50 hotel openings in five years

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Starwood hotels & resorts worldwide, Management occupations, Starwood hotels & resorts

Michael Wale has been promoted to president of Starwood's Europe, Africa, & Middle East (EAME) region
Michael Wale has been promoted to president of Starwood's Europe, Africa, & Middle East (EAME) region
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has announced Roeland Vos, president of its Europe, Africa, & Middle East (EAME) region, will step down to be succeeded by Starwood veteran Michael Wale.

Wale, currently senior vice president and director of operations for Western Europe, will take over on 1 June when Vos, who took the helm of the EAME region in 2001, will take up a consulting role with the American company.

European growth

The appointment comes at a crucial time for the Sheraton, Aloft and W Hotels operator as it looks to increase its European portfolio by 30 per cent over the next five years. 50 new hotels are expected to be opened, nine of which will launch this year.

"Starwood is fortunate to have a deep bench of global talent, and we continue our legacy of promoting from within, appointing one of our proven leaders to a position of expanded responsibility," said Frits van Paasschen, president and chief executive officer of Starwood, who announced Wale's appointment this week.

The experienced hotelier joined Starwood as a graduate trainee in 1978. As well as a number of operational-led roles, he created a graduate training programme - Vita Futura - in the EAME region. 

"Michael has been instrumental in strengthening the profile of Starwood’s brands across Europe, including launching new brands in select markets, and restoring marquee and luxury properties in others.

"With his combination of strategic vision, management experience, relationships with associates and customers, and a global sensibility, Michael is perfectly positioned to oversee Starwood’s continued growth as our new President of Europe, Africa and the Middle East."


Speaking to BigHospitality, a spokesperson for Starwood confirmed the operator was keen to expand all nine of its brands in the UK. Currently the hotelier has 10 properties, including six in London and two in Scotland. 

Most recently Starwood opened its first hotel under the Aloft concept in the heart of London's Docklands near the ExCel centre. At the time the operator confirmed it was eyeing up other UK city centre locations for the brand which features a loft-inspired design.

Of the company's nine brands, Starwood has yet to open any hotels under Four Points by Sheraton, Westin or Element Hotels in the UK.


Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which was founded in 1930, now operates more than 1,100 properties in nearly 100 countries around the world.

Vos originally joined the company in 1982 and held various roles across the business before he took the top job in the EAME region and oversaw a growth of the business in the area - under his leadership Starwood grew from 127 to 243 hotels and resorts in 60 countries in the region. There are currently 64 more hotels in the pipeline. 

Frits van Paasschen said: “We are grateful to Roeland for his many outstanding contributions to Starwood during his more than 30 years with the company. One of the most respected operators in the industry, Roeland has overseen Starwood’s growth across a diverse region, and during his 12-year tenure leading EAME we’ve nearly doubled our hotel footprint in the region and accelerated our business in key fast-growing markets. 

"We are delighted that Roeland will continue to work with Starwood in a consulting role to support development and the growth of our brands across the EAME region." 

Related topics: Business, People, Hotels, Venues

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