Friday, January 15, 2010

Hilton Worldwide execs accused of corporate espionage

bizjournals.com

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. has accused Hilton Worldwide' chief executive officer, Christopher Nassetta, of playing a role in an alleged case of corporate espionage, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Starwood filed a lawsuit last April, against Hilton, alleging that two top executives stole confidential and proprietary information used to launch Hilton into the lifestyle-hotel market. The suit specifically claimed that Ross Klein, global head of Hilton Luxury and Lifestyle Brands, and Amar Lalvani, global head of Hilton Luxury and Lifestyle Brand Development, pilfered more than 100,000 electronic files from Starwood when they were recruited to Hilton in June 2008.

The Journal reported Friday that Starwood has now filed an amended complaint in U.S. District Court in White Plains, N.Y., claiming that Hilton's misconduct reached the highest levels of the McLean-based chain's management, including CEO Nassetta, and its head of global development, Steven Goldman. The complaint says that the alleged theft was condoned by at least five of the 10 members of Hilton's executive committee.

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