Ross Klein, the head of Hilton Hotel’s luxury lifestyle brands, who was accused of corporate espionage by his former employer Starwood Hotels and Resorts, has left the company.
Klein, who was originally instrumental in the development of Starwood’s W brand, then controversially launched Hilton’s new lifestyle brand Denizen in April this year.
But the project was stalled when Starwood took legal action against him and another former Starwood colleague Amar Lalvani who had defected with him to Hilton, alleging theft of ideas.
Starwood is also in the process of suing Hilton for what the writ described as “the clearest imaginable case of corporate espionage, theft of trade secrets, unfair competition and computer fraud”.
Klein, who had been on paid administrative leave since the allegations were made, will now be replaced by John Vanderslice, former chief executive of Miraval Spa in Tucson, Arizona.
By Emily Manson
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