How Big are Starwood’s Golden Parachutes From Selling Out to Marriott?

Major changes at the company in a Marriott deal will include customers (as they ultimately create a single loyalty program for the combined companies), owners of some hotels (as they consolidate brands), and Starwood management (which is where job cuts will predominantly fall).

Hotels themselves won’t see job cuts, although Marriott does organize hotels somewhat differently than Starwood does so there will wind up being some shuffling around. It’s management jobs that get the ax as part of Marriott’s synergies — that were initially announced as $200 million from the deal but have since been revised to $250 million.

Don’t feel badly for the executives at the very top of Starwood, however. A Starwood SEC filing on Friday in connection with the Marriott acquisition revealed the payouts that the company’s officers will receive as a result of the transaction.

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While Adam Aron, who negotiated the merger agreements and resigned as interim CEO at the end of the year, likely would have preferred to remain independent — hence his plan to revive the Sheraton brand, for instance — officers of the company will do just fine without their jobs. (Since Mr. Aron is no longer an officer of the company, any compensation he receives is not included in the filing.)

In addition to cash and stock, the table lists the value of perks — these include:

  • two years (18 months for Schnaid) of ‘health and welfare benefits’
  • up to two years outplacement services up to 20% of base salary
  • an amount equal to any 401(k) balances forfeited as a result of termination (however all are currently fully vested)

If you were Starwood’s board, fiduciary obligations notwithstanding, would you jump without a parachute?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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