Author, Investor, Board Member
Greenwich, CT and Amsterdam
Frits van Paasschen spent most of his time in college running, drinking beer and oversleeping — perfect preparation for a career that spanned Nike, Coors Brewing Company, and Starwood Hotels. After college, he was a consultant for eight years before working for branded businesses. He ran Europe, Middle East and Africa for Nike before becoming CEO, first of Coors and then of Starwood.
After leaving full-time work in 2015, Frits wrote The Disruptor’s Feast, which became an Amazon best-seller and led to a stint as a paid keynote speaker. He pursues his interest in disruption as a board member to successful public companies, Williams-Sonoma and Royal DSM, as well as hyper-growth unicorns (at least pre-Covid); citizenM Hotels, Sonder, and Convene. In his free time, Frits advises several startups, including a hotel school in India, a learning platform based in Singapore, and a regenerative tourism project in the Middle East. He is on the advisory board of Russell Reynolds and is a Senior Advisor to TPG Capital. He recently joined the board of J. Crew and helped launch a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
Frits holds a BA in Economics and Biology from Amherst College and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Teaching Fellow in Economics. Originally from the Netherlands, he holds dual US-Dutch nationality and speaks five languages. His passions are travel (visited 119 countries), endurance sports (including one Ironman), and sustainability (he is a vegan). He and Laura di Bonaventura have been married for 31 years, and they have three adult children.
DCI Fellow: Laura di Bonaventura