Marriott CEO passes

Eloise Hanson Eloise Hanson Uploaded 16 February 2021

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US: Arne Sorenson, Marriott International CEO, has passed away following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Sorenson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2019. Two weeks ago, Marriott announced that he will be taking a step back to undergo treatment. Today, Marriott reported "with profound sadness... that Arne M. Sorenson, president and CEO, unexpectedly passed away on February 15, 2021."

In 2012 Sorenson joined Marriott as the company’s third CEO, and the first without the Marriott surname. The business was founded in 1927 by John Willard Marriott and is currently led by his son, J.W. Marriott. 

Under Sorenson’s direction, Marriott completed the $12 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 2015. Sorenson was also well known for his leadership on difficult national and global issues, and helped guide Marriott's progress on diversity, equity and inclusion, environmental sustainability and human trafficking awareness.

“Arne was an exceptional executive – but more than that – he was an exceptional human being,” said J.W. Marriott, executive chairman and chairman of the board. “Arne loved every aspect of this business and relished time spent touring our hotels and meeting associates around the world. He had an uncanny ability to anticipate where the hospitality industry was headed and position Marriott for growth. But the roles he relished the most were as husband, father, brother and friend. On behalf of the Board and Marriott’s hundreds of thousands of associates around the world, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Arne’s wife and four children. We share your heartbreak, and we will miss Arne deeply.”

Stephanie Linnartz, group president at Marriott for consumer operations, technology and emerging businesses, as well as Tony Capuano, group president for global development, design and operations services, will share responsibility for overseeing the company’s business until the Marriott Board appoints a new CEO.

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