Coca-Cola’s Heyer Heads to Starwood

NEW YORK Coca-Cola’s outgoing president/COO Steve Heyer will join Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide as its new chief executive officer in September, sources said. Barry Sternlicht, Starwood’s chairman and current CEO, announced earlier in the year that he would vacate the CEO position, while staying with the company. Neither Heyer, Starwood, nor Coca-Cola could be reached for comment.

Interpublic Group’s Deutsch, New York, handles the White Plains, N.Y.-based Starwood’s Westin and Sheraton brands, for which combined media spending totals $70 million a year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. IPG’s Avrett Free Ginsberg, Omnicom’s Merkley + Partners Interactive, aQuantive’s Avenue A and independent Razorfish are among the corporation’s roster shops.

Heyer announced his departure from Coke [Brandweek Online, June 9] after the Atlanta company named Neville Isdell CEO, a position Heyer was said to have wanted. During Heyer’s reign, in February 2003, WPP Group’s Berlin Cameron/Red Cell was assigned Coke Classic. The client spent $100 million last year on Coke Classic.