Frits van Paasschen is a seasoned global executive and the author of The Disruptors’ Feast, an Amazon best-seller. His thirty years of experience inside global companies affords him a unique perspective on the trends reshaping the global economy. Frits sees the accelerating pace of disruption as being driven by climate change, digitization, and human inequality. His work as a keynote speaker, investor, board member, and advisor focuses on helping organizations thrive in times of rapid change.
With three decades of professional experience, Frits understands more than most the power corporate disruption. If your team is stuck in a rut, he will shake up the status quo enough to re-energise your business, allowing it to adapt and grow. He has served as the CEO of several successful businesses, across multiple industries, making Frits the perfect keynote speaker for corporate audiences of all professions. As the Chief Executive Officer of Coors Brewing Company, he oversaw the business’ operations, watching it thrive under his leadership. He later spent eight years as Starwood Hotels’ President and CEO, where Frits gained valuable knowledge of consumer trends and behaviour.
Frits serves on the boards of two public companies that have navigated global change exceptionally well, Williams-Sonoma and Royal DSM. He is also an investor and board member of three high-growth “unicorns”: Convene (where he also serves as chair), citizenM Hotels, and Sonder. Additionally, he is on the board of J.Crew Group. His work as an advisor spans several roles, including working with TPG Capital, Russell Reynolds Associates, The Red Sea Development Company, and Indian School of Hospitality, as well as startups, namely BigSpring (a remote-learning platform), Jabbrrbox (technology-equipped workspaces), PlacePass (a travel-services marketplace), and Rewyre (a prop-tech platform).
Frits spent more than a decade as a Fortune 500 CEO, first at The Coors Brewing Company and then at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. He also held several management positions at Nike, ultimately becoming Nike’s GM (president) of Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Prior to joining Nike, he worked in finance in Disney’s Consumer Products Division. His career began at Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Company, where he primarily served retail and consumer clients.
Frits has been a non-executive director at Barclays PLC, Jones Apparel, Oakley, and Apollo Hotels. Frits has also served on numerous other advisory boards, including the European-American Industrial Council (as chairman), the U.S.-India and U.S.-China Business Councils, the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Authority, and The Center for Environmental Leadership in Business at Conservation International.
Frits holds a BA in Economics and Biology from Amherst College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. At Harvard, he was a teaching fellow in economics. Originally from the Netherlands, Frits holds dual U.S. and Dutch citizenship. A passionate traveler, he speaks five languages and has visited nearly 120 countries. In his free time, he enjoys endurance sports, photography, and collecting antique maps. He has been married since 1990 and has three children.