Two of the largest hotel chains in the world are locked in battle — legal battle. Starwood Hotels has accused 44 of Hilton‘s top executives of stealing trade secrets. Christopher Nassetta, the CEO of Hilton, is alleged to have known about this activity, according to an amended complaint that Starwood filed with the Manhattan federal court. The object of affection thievery was the luxury category of Starwood’s portfolio, including the St. Regis, W and The Luxury Collection.
According to Starwood’s complaint, Nassetta is said to be under “intense pressure” to deliver the financial returns expected by the Blackstone Group, the private equity firm that paid $26 billion for Hilton in 2007. The complaint further states, “Intense pressure — whether from Blackstone or otherwise — is no excuse for corporate espionage, and it is no excuse for the massive theft and widescale use of confidential and proprietary Starwood information.”
According to a USA Today report, Hitlton’s spokesman, Aaron Radelet, declined to comment, because the company doesn’t discuss pending litigation.
Starwood is looking to appoint monitors to make sure that Hilton complies with all injunctions, and it’s also seeking a court-imposed “time out” period during which Hilton wouldn’t be able to move forward with its luxury brands.
[Photo by p c w via Flickr]