Marriott International last night announced that Arne M. Sorenson, President and CEO of the company, passed away on February 15, 2021. Marriott had disclosed in May 2019, that Arne Sorenson had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Early in February 2021, Marriott shared that he will temporarily step back from his schedule to facilitate more demanding treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Arne Sorenson became the third CEO in Marriott’s history in 2012 and the first without the Marriott surname. Before this, he arrived at Marriott as a counsel for the company and worked his way up overseeing finance and overall operations before being appointed to the top post. He was generally loved and revered around the organisation.
At Marriott, one of Arne’s most significant achievements was the USD 13 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts by Marriott.
JW Marriott, Jr., the Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, said this about the passing away of Arne Sorenson,
Arne was an exceptional executive – but more than that – he was an exceptional human being. 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.
Marriott is expecting to appoint a new CEO within the next two weeks. Until then, the responsibility to oversee the entire organisation’s operations has been passed on to 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.
My thoughts are with Sorenson’s family and friends.