Former Hilton CEO, one-time Trump CFO passes away at 74

Photo credit: Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

Stephen Bollenbach, the former CEO of Hilton Hotels Corp., right up to its sale to Blackstone Group, has died at age 74. The New York Times has written an in-depth obit that recalls Bollenbach's financial acuity and also his dealings with Donald J. Trump, when he served as Trump Organization CFO.

Bollenbach died in Manhattan. He lived primarily in East Hampton, N.Y., and also had homes in New York and Paris.

Bollenbach was CEO of Hilton Hotels Corp. from 1996 until 2007, when he retired, in January of that year. He was succeeded by CHris Nassetta in October 2007. On July 3, 2007, the company agreed to an all-cash buyout from  Blackstone Group in a $26-billion deal, including debt.

Before Hilton, Bollenbach oversaw the finances at several other companies, including the Trump Organization. According to the Times, Bollenbach became The Trump Organization's first CFO in 1990, where "he quickly moved to change how Trump financed his empire of buildings, Atlantic City casinos, hotels and an airline, which was crumbling at the time."

These maneuvers included debt-for-equity swaps, asset sales and/or planned bankruptcies of the assets. These moves purportedly helped Donald Trump stave off personal bankruptcy. At the time of Bollenbach's departure from Trump Organization, in 1992, he said: “The work I had to do for Donald is really finished. The financial restructuring is done."

Subsequent to working for Trump, Bollenbach returned to Marriott, where he had previously worked in the 80s.

Bollenbach became the first CEO of Hilton from outside the family.

According to his Wikipedia page, Bollenbach was also the nonexecutive chairman of Los Angeles-based KB Home and a member of the board of directors of Time Warner. He was also a director of Harrah’s Entertainment Macy’s and the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.

Bollenbach was born on July 14, 1942, in Los Angeles. He graduated from UCLA, and received a master’s in business administration from California State University, Northridge.