Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has named Robert F. Cotter President and COO of the White Plains, N.Y.-based hotel firm. The announcement comes two weeks after Barry Sternlicht announced his intention to step down as CEO of the firm. Cotter was COO for the company for the past three years. "Bob has been a valuable asset to Starwood and a wonderful partner to me," says Sternlicht. "A 30-year hotel veteran, he is one of the most well respected hotel operators in the world. His ability to help execute the company's strategy throughout our global network of hotels has been fundamental to our success." Previously, Cotter served as president of international operations and president and COO, Europe. He also has served as senior vice president and president of Starwood’s Asia-Pacific Division, based in Hong Kong.