Quantcast Starwood Sues Hilton and Two Former Starwood Executives for Corporate Espionage, Theft of Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition | Five Star Alliance

Starwood Sues Hilton and Two Former Starwood Executives for Corporate Espionage, Theft of Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

April 20, 2009 By:Mary Winston Nicklin

That's the official press release headline. Attention-grabbing isn't it? Here's the scoop:
100,000 Files Looted From Starwood Computers By Ross Klein, Amar Lalvani And Other Former Starwood Employees Now At Hilton Include Proprietary Strategic Plans, Confidential Deal Terms, Step-By-Step Playbooks For Creating Lifestyle And Luxury Brands WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 16, 2009-- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced it has filed a lawsuit against Hilton Hotels Corporation and its senior executives Ross Klein, Global Head of Hilton Luxury & Lifestyle Brands, and Amar Lalvani, Global Head of Hilton Luxury &Lifestyle Brand Development, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The lawsuit alleges that Klein, former President,Starwood Luxury Brands Group, and Lalvani, former Senior Vice President, Starwood Luxury Brands Group, aided and abetted by Hilton, stole massive amounts of proprietary and highly confidential Starwood information which was used to expedite Hilton's entry into the lifestyle hotel market, reposition its luxury brands and substantially reduce its costs and risks of doing so. Klein and Lalvani were recruited to Hilton in June 2008 following its highly leveraged $20+ billion acquisition by Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX). The lawsuit alleges that Klein and Lalvani, directly and through other Starwood luxury brands employees they recruited to Hilton, stole more than 100,000 electronic files – truckloads of documents when printed – before and after they joined Hilton, in violation of both their contractual and fiduciary duties. The lawsuit also alleges that among the stolen materials was confidential information about Starwood's W® hotel brand which Hilton used in the development of its Denizen brand.

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