Marriott International has announced that their President and CEO, Arne Sorenson unexpectedly passed away yesterday, February 15, 2021.
Sorenson was a Japanese-born American and a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School. Becoming the head of Marriott, the largest publicly traded hotel chain in the world on March 31, 2012. He previously practiced law in Washington, specialising in mergers and acquisitions, was a director for Wal-Mart, and prior to running the business was Chief Operating Officer at Marriott.
Last May Marriott announced that Sorenson had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Earlier this month Marriott then reported news that Sorenson would temporarily reduce his schedule to facilitate more demanding treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Sorenson became the third CEO in Marriott’s history in 2012, and the first without the Marriott surname.
Known for his leadership on difficult national and global issues, Mr. Sorenson steered Marriott to make significant progress on diversity, equity and inclusion, environmental sustainability and human trafficking awareness.
A visionary leader, Sorenson put the company on a strong growth trajectory that included the $13-billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Marriott International Board J.W. Marriott, Jr said: “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.”
When Sorenson stepped back from full-time management in early February, the company tapped two veteran Marriott executives, Stephanie Linnartz, Group President, Consumer Operations, Technology and Emerging Businesses, and Tony Capuano, Group President, Global Development, Design and Operations Services, to share responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company’s business units and corporate functions, in addition to maintaining their current responsibilities.
Ms. Linnartz and Mr. Capuano will continue in this capacity until the Marriott Board appoints a new CEO, which is expected to be within the next two weeks.
Sorenson was a skilled communicator, in March last year we published a video of his take on Covid-19 and how Marriott was dealing with it. Not just in his eloquence, but with evident empathy for all colleagues impacted by Covid, Sorenson’s address is well worth watching and listening.
We extend our best wishes to his family and friends at this time, and our sorrow for their loss.
Hospitality & Catering News: Arne Sorenson, Marriott International President and CEO, dies unexpectedly. – 16 February 2021 – Arne Sorenson, Marriott International President and CEO, dies unexpectedly.
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