The Starwood Journey - Stephen Ho, President, Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts

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 Excerpts from his Interview on Starwood Cares / Starwood Careers

I started my Starwood Journey with the former Sheraton Utama in Brunei as a pastry chef 31 years ago. From there, I moved on to different parts of the world (Auckland, Beijing, Dhaka, Okinawa, Hong Kong) before I worked my way back to Sheraton Towers Singapore. Subsequently, I was given the opportunity to move to the corporate office in Hong Kong.

At that time, it was a hard decision because I have been enjoying my job in the kitchen and was considering if I should step out of the kitchen environment. I had a team who worked very closely with me to create new dessert and pastry items. Although it was a tough decision, I decided to take up the opportunity and challenge since I had never worked in an office environment. I was young and so I thought that in the worst case scenario if I could not adapt to life outside the kitchen, I could always go back to my kitchen life. I am most grateful that the company was willing to place a bet on me especially for someone who does not even know how to use a computer back then.

Along the way, I have met many people who have coached me and Miguel was one of my early mentors. At the corporate office, I worked in procurement, technical services, pre-opening support team before taking on the acquisitions and development position to develop the Greater China market for Starwood. At that time, China was undeveloped in terms of hotel industry and I was at the right place, at the right time. Although I had not done development previously, I had learned how it was done by observing previous development colleagues during my technical services tenure whenever I traveled with the development team. Of course, the company believed in my capability and provided the opportunity to start my “new career” in development. I truly believe that our company does have a heart and believes in developing the potential of its people.

After 12 years in acquisitions and development, I was called upon to lead the organization and here I am today to start another “new journey and career” with Starwood.

I have always emphasized that the opportunity is available to any associate who is willing to go the extra mile and strive for excellence. Now with Starwood Career & Management Track in place, the company will provide the platform & training for you to pursue your career in an organized and structured way. So believe in yourself, work hard and stretch your potential to the fullest but don’t forget to balance your work and personal life and enjoy the journey…………

Stephen Ho
Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts

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