Starwood Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: HOT) unexpectedly ousted its CEO on Monday, sending shares higher.

Steven J. Heyer has resigned as Chief Executive Officer and a director at the recommendation of the Board of Directors, while Bruce W. Duncan, 55, Starwood's Chairman since 2005 and a director since 1995, will also serve as interim CEO.

While the Board appreciates the good work Steve Heyer has done to position Starwood for the future, issues with regard to his management style have led us to lose confidence in his leadership, said Stephen Quazzo, chairman of the hotelier's governance and nominating committee.

Shares shot up $2.60, or 4 percent on the New York Stock Exchange, hitting $67.45 by mid-day trading.

Heyer joined the third-largest U.S hotel company in 2004, leaving his position as the president of Coca-Cola Co.

White Plains, NY-based Starwood also reaffirmed its guidance for the first quarter of 38 cents and its outlook for the full year 2007 of $2.50.