W Hotels brand leader Ziegler to resign

WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK Eva Ziegler, the global brand leader of W Hotels and Le Méridien, is leaving Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc.

Ziegler will stay on with Starwood through early next year to help identify and train her successor. The Vienna native is resigning to spend more time with her family in Europe.

“Departing Starwood at a professional peak was clearly a very tough decision for Eva.  But, her choice comes from her heart, and rests on her desire to rejoin her family in Europe,” Starwood says in a statement. “With Eva’s deep understanding of brand-building, coupled with her global approach, she will be handing off the W and Le Méridien brands in stellar shape, well positioned for the future.”

She has served as head of Le Méridien brand since its 2005 acquisition by Starwood. Ziegler has led the repositioning of Le Méridien as a culture-heavy hotel brand targeting the creative class. She added the role of W Hotels chief in 2009.

Before joining Starwood, Ziegler was director of Le Rendez-Vous Toyota.

Starwood has already begun searching for her replacement.