Hotels Race to Cuba
by Alan Murray @alansmurray MARCH 21, 2016, 7:40 AM EDT
Starwood signed deal to manage three landmark hotels in Cuba.
Good morning. I’m back from a week of skiing in Utah, and wondering
whether next spring I should try a warmer spot – maybe Cuba? That’s
where President Obama is this morning, along with Marriott CEO Arne
Sorenson and AirBnb CEO Brian Chesky. The hospitality industry is
clearly first in line to take advantage of new business opportunities on
While a triumph for Obama, this has to be a bittersweet trip for
Sorenson. On Friday, Starwood HOT 4.06% snubbed the Marriott CEO by
announcing it planned to accept a higher $13 billion bid to be acquired
by Anbang Insurance of China, breaking its deal with Marriott MAR
-1.15% . Sorenson has until March 28 to sweeten his offer. [As this CEO
Daily was going to press, Marriott unveiled a larger bid on Monday].
Moreover, Starwood beat Marriott out of the gate in signing an agreement
to manage three landmark hotels in Cuba, including the Hotel Inglaterra.
Marriott also received approval from the Treasury to do business in
Cuba, but Sorenson said “there is still work to do before any agreement
is reached.” AirBnb, of course, beat both hoteliers: it already lists
rentals in Cuba for U.S. travelers. Yesterday, it received approval to
open listings to non-U.S. travelers as well.
Also on the Cuba trip : Paypal PYPL 2.69% CEO Dan Schulman, who is
trying to turn the former eBay unit into a global payments platform, and
Xerox XRX -0.93% CEO Ursula Burns.
Separately, my colleague Pattie Sellers has gotten a first look at Erin
Callan’s new book, Full Circle, A memoir of leaning in too far and the
journey back. Remember Callan? She was the CFO of Lehman Brothers before
it collapsed in 2008. The book recounts how Callan tried to commit
suicide on Christmas Eve of 2008, shortly after her ouster. Sellers says
the book is a kind of counterpoint to Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, which
urges women to be confident in pursuing their careers. Callan’s book
warns of the dangers of overconfidence.
Source: Hotels Race to Cuba – Fortune –