Starwood Capital Group ("Starwood Capital"), a global private investment firm focused on real estate and energy, has promoted Arash Azarbarzin to Chief Executive Officer of its subsidiary company, SH Hotels & Resorts, effective immediately. Mr. Azarbarzin succeeds Starwood Capital Chairman and CEO Barry Sternlicht as CEO of SH Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Sternlicht will remain Chairman and continue to be involved with the organisation.
Mr. Azarbarzin has more than 30 years of industry experience, including leadership roles at St. Regis Hotels, W Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels, and as Founding Member at SBE hotel group, among others. As President of SH Hotels & Resorts, his strategic vision, leadership abilities and operational expertise continuously fuelled the growth and performance of the SH portfolio, including 1 Hotels, Baccarat Hotels, and Treehouse Hotels brands. Together with Mr. Sternlicht, Mr. Azarbarzin has displayed outstanding performance and leadership throughout one of the most challenging times for the company as well as the industry. He holds a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from United States International University and graduated from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. In 2020, Mr. Azarbarzin joined the Board of Directors of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and AMAALA Development Advisory Board.
"I am delighted to promote Arash to the role of CEO of SH Hotels & Resorts to help lead the growth of the company and its brands across the world," said Mr. Sternlicht. "Over the last year, the industry has experienced tremendous upheaval and Arash has shown steady leadership and helped position us for a bright future. I am confident that under his leadership, we will continue to see significant increases in guest satisfaction, build excellence in SH Hotels & Resorts, as well as true advocacy for our overall mission of sustainability in everything we do."
In Mr. Azarbarzin's three years as President of SH Hotels & Resorts, he spearheaded the successful openings of 1 Hotel West Hollywood, 1 Hotel Haitang Bay and launched our newest award-winning brand, Treehouse Hotels. Under Mr. Azarbarzin's leadership, all 1 Hotel properties, as well as Baccarat New York and Treehouse London, claimed spots on Condé Nast's Traveller’s Reader's Choice Award lists. Staying true to the company's core values, he has made tremendous headway in reducing overall climate impact for the entire organization, including the establishment of real-time energy monitoring, decrease in resource use, and certification as a Carbon Neutral Organization—all while continuing to give back to local and global communities in alignment with the brand's collective mission of commitment to sustainable practices and to offsetting our carbon footprint. With a robust pipeline ahead, Mr. Azarbarzin is poised to lead the company to new heights with international expansion in cities like Paris, London, Saudi Arabia, Copenhagen, Manchester and Toronto as well as domestic expansion in San Francisco, Miami, Nashville and Kauai.