Starwood comms execs pack bags after Marriott acquisition

Most of a string of departures took place after the deal's finalization last September.

(Image via Starwood's Facebook account).
(Image via Starwood's Facebook account).

BETHESDA, MD: A handful of communications executives have departed Starwood Hotels & Resorts after the company was acquired by Marriott International last September.

Former SVP of communications K.C. Kavanagh said in November that she was leaving the company after an 18-year stint to join Bacardi as its global communications leader. Jessica Doyle, who reported to Kavanagh, more recently departed to join Etsy as VP of communications. Global communications manager Sarah Marx, former VP of global brand communications Trey Sarten, and associate director of global communications Tanya Elm left the company in December.

Marx has taken the role of corporate communications manager at Etsy, Sarten is traveling the world, and Elm is serving as a freelance senior consultant for PR and social media, currently working with American Express, according to LinkedIn. Sarten resigned at the end of last year, according to an internal email.

Lauren Dutton-Breen, former global PR manager at Starwood, moved over to Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to work as director of PR beginning in January, according to her LinkedIn.

Two more comms team members departed in October: Kristin Vincenzo, former director of global comms; and Ashley Chapman, director of global brand comms, who now works at Instagram in fashion and entertainment comms.

Before the deal closed, former associate director of global communications Michelle Starr departed in May 2016 to join JPMorgan Chase & Co. as VP of global technology comms.

A source familiar with the matter confirmed the departures and noted that acquisitions of the size of Starwood-Marriott naturally force restructuring within the ranks. The $13 billion deal brought together brands including Marriott, Courtyard, Ritz Carlton, Sheraton, Westin, W, and others.

"Following the acquisition of Starwood, we set up our communications department to align with the overall organization, including all our new brands, to ensure there were no gaps," said Tracey Schroeder, VP of global consumer PR at Marriott. "My team looks after consumer-related communications for Marriott, which includes PR for our 30 brands, loyalty, digital, partnerships, and portfolio marketing."

Requests for comment through LinkedIn to Kavanagh, Doyle, Marx, Sarten, Elm, Dutton-Breen, Vincenzo, and Chapman were not returned. 

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