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WHITE PLAINS, NY-Hotelier Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide promoted Steve Hankin to chief marketing officer and Geoff Ballotti to president of its North America division. Hankin will continue in his current role as and president of its Starwood Technology and Revenue Systems (STARS) division.

“The lines between technological advances, traditional marketing initiatives and distribution strategies continue to cross,” says Robert F. Cotter, Starwood’s COO. “The need for quick field response to new initiatives has never been more apparent. To further enhance our speed to market capability and operational effectiveness, this new realignment utilizes the proven talents and accomplishments of Steve and Geoff at the highest level.” Both Hankin and Ballotti will report directly to Cotter.

Company officials praise Hankin for having built STARS into an “outstanding marketing, distribution and technology organization.” STARS programs encompasses areas such as interactive marketing, direct marketing, (Starwood Preferred Guest), customer marketing, property technology, pricing and distribution as well as the operation of Starwood’s call centers. Hankin will take on marketing responsibility for the company’s Westin, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, St. Regis and the Luxury Collection brands on a worldwide basis, company officials note.

A 14-year veteran of Starwood, Ballotti, rises in the ranks from his previous post as executive vice president, North America Hotel Operations. In his new position, Ballotti will assume North America responsibilities including operations, sales and marketing, finance, human resources, franchise, owner relations, Six Sigma and purchasing functions.

“North America has made excellent progress culturally under Geoff’s leadership with a rededication to training and a renewed focus on making Six Sigma part of the way we do business,” says Cotter. “Geoff has also led the organization to make great strides in areas such as owner relations and purchasing positioning him perfectly to take on this expanded global role.”

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