Frits van Paasschen, president and chief executive of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, has stepped down from his roles by "mutual agreement" with the company.
Adam Aron, a director since 2006 with Starwood, which operates the St Regis, W, Le Meridien, Sheraton and Aloft brands, will take over as interim chief executive while the company conducts a search for van Paasschen's replacement.
Van Paasschen, who is to continue with Starwood as a consultant to assist in the transition, has led Starwood for the past seven years during which time it has grown into one of the world's largest hotel companies with more than 1,200 hotels in 100 countries, across nine brands.
He said: "We have challenged ourselves to deliver on bold plans while continuously finding new ways to provide better experiences for our guests, and it's clear from our progress that Starwood is now in a strong position for the future."
Bruce Duncan, chairman of the Starwood board, added that van Paasschen had made "many important contributions" to the company's evolution into "a global company with leading lifestyle brands that possess distinctive competitive advantage".
However, he continued: "The board believes now is the right time to accelerate Starwood's growth, improve performance and sharpen focus on operational excellence."
In the UK Starwood operates the Trump Turnberry Resort in Ayrshire, which was bought by Donald Trump last year, but recently lost the contract to manage the Lanesborough hotel in London under its luxury St Regis brand to the Oetker Collection. Its hotels in London include Le Meridien Piccadilly, W London, the Park Lane hotel and Aloft London Excel.