Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s Chief Executive, Dies at 62
Mr. Sorrenson was the first person outside the Marriott family to lead the company when he became chief executive in 2012 and only the third person to gain the title since the founding of Marriott in 1927.
During his tenure at the helm, he led worldwide expansion, including a $ 13 billion acquisition Starwood Hotels & Resorts In 2015, the acquisition made Marriott the largest hotel operator on the planet, with over 7,500 properties in 132 countries and territories and 30 brands including Courtyard, Ritz-Carlton, Westin, W Hotels and Sheraton. The merger also created Marriott Bonvoy, the travel industry’s largest customer-loyalty program with more than 140 million members.
“Arne was an extraordinary executive. But more than that, he was an extraordinary human being, ”the company’s executive chairman, JW Marriott Jr., said in a statement. “Arne loved every aspect of this business and spent time visiting our hotel and associates around the world.”
“He had the unstoppable ability to anticipate where the hospitality industry was headed and position Marriott for growth. But the roles he most admired were husbands, fathers, brothers and friends.
The coronovirus epidemic, which wreaked havoc on the hospitality industry, dipped Marriott’s revenue. Mr Sorenson said the drop in bookings had a more serious impact on the financial health of the business than the 2008 economic crisis and the September 11 attacks. Mr Sorenson said the chain was forced to close the hotel and thousands of workers. “I’ve never had a more difficult moment than this one,” said Mr. Sorenson Company video In which he announced layoffs in March.
In May 2019, the hotel chain announced that Mr. Sorenson had cancer, and earlier this month said that he was shortening his schedule due to more demanding treatments.
When Mr. Sorenson stepped down from full-time management, the company hired two Marriott executives, Stephanie Linartz and Tony Capuano, to temporarily fill the role. The company hopes to appoint a new chief executive within two weeks.
Mr. Sorenson joined the Marriott in 1996 and served in several roles before becoming President and Chief Operating Officer. He was elected to the board of Marriott in 2011.
Mr. Sorenson was clear about environmental sustainability, human rights and diversity and inclusion. He was on the board of Microsoft and Special Olympics and was a trustee of the Brookings Institution.
Born on October 13, 1958 in Tokyo, Japan, Mr. Sorenson grew up in St. Paul, Min. He graduated from Luther College and University of Minnesota Law School in Decorah, Iowa. Prior to joining Marriott, he was a partner with the law firm and Latkins in Washington.
Mr. Sorrenson is survived by his wife Ruth and four children.