Keynote Speaker Frits van Paasschen Exclusive

Frits van Paasschen

Seasoned Global Executive, Author, Former CEO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Former CEO of Coors Brewing Company

  • Speaker's U.S. Fee Range
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  • Languages Spoken
    Dutch, English, German, Italian, Spanish

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Frits van Paasschen is a seasoned global executive and the author of The Disruptors’ Feast, an Amazon #1 Bestseller. His thirty years of experience inside global companies has afforded him a unique perspective on the current trends that are impacting business around the world. Frits shares his deep understanding of the forces that are disrupting the status quo to help businesses evolve and thrive in changing environments.

Frits served as CEO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts from 2007-2015. Before that, he spent three years as CEO at Coors Brewing Company. Frits also held several management positions at Nike, ultimately becoming Nike’s President of Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Prior to working for Nike, he worked in finance in Disney’s Consumer Products Division. While Frits has a long history of executive roles, his career began in management consulting. At The Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Company, he primarily served retail and consumer clients.

Fun Facts about Frits

  • Kickstarted growth of Coors Light with the temperature sensitive label
  • Reversed 20 years of decline for Coors Banquet by repositioning the brand
  • Doubled the size of Nike’s businesses in Europe by focusing on soccer innovation
  • Moved Starwood global HQ to Dubai and Shanghai for six weeks to get closer to market
  • Made SPG a global brand accounting for over half of Starwood’s room nights – with innovations like keyless entry and personalized services
  • Frits speaks 5 languages, has a dual US and Dutch citizenship, and has done business in 113 countries

Advising on strategic direction is a passion of Frits’ and he has served on a variety of boards throughout his career. He has been a Non-Executive Director at Barclays (FTSE) and as a member of the Board of Directors of two NYSE-listed companies, Jones Apparel and Oakley. While at Nike, Frits served as Chairman of the European-American Industrial Council, and he later served on the boards of the U.S.-India and U.S.-China business councils. For several years, he was a member of the board of the Center for Environmental Leadership in Business at Conservation International.

Frits holds a BA in Economics and Biology from Amherst College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. At Harvard, he was also a Teaching Fellow in Economics. Originally from the Netherlands, Frits holds dual U.S. and Dutch citizenship. A passionate traveler, he speaks five languages and has visited more than 110 countries. In his free time, he enjoys endurance sports, including marathons and triathlons. He has been married 25 years and has three children.

Testimonials 6

  • Frits tells a captivating story of how technology and big data have transformed businesses and our daily lives.  As CEO of Starwood, Frits had a unique, ringside global view of this continuing phenomenon and offers prescriptions for businesses to succeed in this environment.  I would highly recommend Frits as a compelling keynote speaker at any industry conference whose participants are challenged by disruption.

    Rob Shepard

    Vice President of Strategic Logistics Solutions International Forest Products

  • Frits served as the anchor for our closing day of content and was one of the hits of the conference. His knowledge and engaging style let to an interactive general session that drilled down beyond high-level trends to identify reasons for those trends and what could happen next. Frits’ unique take on leadership and technology culled from stints as a CEO in two major business classes gave our attendees an honest, sincere—and sometimes humorous—look at how disruptions can affect them on a daily basis.

    Jeff Higley

    Editorial Director/VP, Digital Media & Communications - STR

  • Frits is an extremely engaging and insightful business mind, grounded in years of real-world experience at the highest levels of leadership in global brands.  He’s seen the forces shaping global economies first-hand, and brings those insights to life in ways that are very relevant and actionable, including to our audience of  venture capitalists and early stage tech company CEOs.  Our group left inspired and energized by his wisdom and advice.

    Curt Roberts

    Partner, Kickstart Seed Fund

  • The conference was a great one this year… the finish with Frits was exceptional. I’ve never heard such a buzz as people left the room regarding his fantastic extemporaneous presentation.

    Carol Turner

    CONECT’s Executive Director

  • In his role as CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Frits van Paasschen had a prime perch from which to observe the global economy, where he responded to and profoundly influenced how, why, and where people travel for business and pleasure. The Disruptors’ Feast is a fascinating and astute collection of stories and data that explain the unprecedented change and speed necessitated by today’s shifting plates in the geopolitical and technological landscape.

    Danny Meyer

    CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group

  • “Frits van Paasschen draws on his experience as a global business leader to offer advice on how we can prepare ourselves and our institutions to thrive and make sense of a tumultuous world.”

    Arianna Huffington

    co-founder, The Huffington Post

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