Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has taken Hilton Hotels Corporation and two of the company’s senior management to federal court, claiming confidential information has been stolen that fed into Hilton’s plans for a new lifestyle brand.
The two senior Hilton executives, Ross Klein (pictured) and Amar Lalvani, are both former Starwood employees. Klein, head of luxury and lifestyle brands at Hilton, was recently interviewed in Marketing Week.
The lawsuit claims that the pair, with the aid of Hilton, stole proprietary and highly confidential Starwood information. This data was used to help Hilton enter the lifestyle hotel market and reposition its luxury brands.
Klein was previously president Starwood Luxury Brands Group and Lalvani was senior vp of Starwood Luxury Brands Group. They joined Hilton in June last year following the hotel company’s acquisition by Blackstone Group.
The lawsuit alleges theft of electronic files and confidential information about Starwood’s W hotel brand which Hilton used in the development of its Denizen brand.
Hilton was unavailable for comment at time of posting.