The hotel industry has lost a giant. Arne Sorenson, the CEO of Marriott International, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, according to the company. Sorenson had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May 2019 and earlier this month he had temporarily reduced his schedule to facilitate more demanding treatment.
Marriott plans to name Sorenson’s successor within the next two weeks. In the meantime, Group President of Consumer Operations, Technology and Emerging Businesses Stephanie Linnartz and Group President, Global Development, Design and Operations Services Tony Capuano will continue to jointly oversee the company’s day-to-day operations and corporate functions. The two had begun to take on this responsibility earlier this month when Sorenson scaled back his schedule.
Sorenson had led Marriott since 2012 and was notably the first person without the Marriott surname to lead the international hospitality giant. Under Sorenson’s leadership, Marriott completed the $13-billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts and made significant progress on core issues like 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,” J.W. Marriott, Jr. said in a press release. “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.”
Marriott who serves as the company’s Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board went on to say, “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.”
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