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Starwood Hotels president and chief executive Frits van Paasschen has resigned by mutual agreement.

Former Vail Resorts and Norwegian Cruise Line chief executive Adam Aron, a director of the world’s second largest hotel group since 2006, has been named as interim chief.

The search for a permanent chief executive will include both internal and external candidates.

The company said that van Paasschen would continue with Starwood as a consultant to assist in the transition.

Chairman Bruce Duncan told investors: “Let me be clear that this change has nothing to do with any disagreement in strategy.”

He said: “Frits has made many important contributions over the past seven years to Starwood’s successful evolution into a global company with leading lifestyle brands that possess distinct competitive advantages.

“He’s put innovation and technology leadership at the forefront, while building a culture of collaboration across a dynamic organisation.”

Duncan added: “The board believes now is the right time to take steps to accelerate Starwood’s growth, improve performance, and sharpen our focus on operational excellence.”

Van Paasschen said: “I’m proud of Starwood’s accomplishments and the growth we’ve seen around the world and across all nine of our brands.

“We have challenged ourselves to deliver on bold plans while continuously finding new ways to provide better experiences for our guests, and it’s clear from our progress that Starwood is now in a strong position for the future.”

Aron, a director of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, said: “I look forward to working with our talented management team and dedicated associates across the globe as we strive to accelerate our growth strategy and further enhance our world-class ho