hotels and resorts

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson dies after battle with cancer

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson dies after battle with cancer

ARNE SORENSON. Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson participates in a meeting between then-US president Donald Trump and tourism industry executives on coronavirus response, in the White House in Washington, March 17, 2020.

File photo by Leah Millis/Reuters

Arne Sorenson, 62, was the first non-family member to head the Marriott hotel chain

Marriott International chief executive officer Arne Sorenson, who was undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, has died, the company said on Tuesday, February 16.

The first non-family member to head the hotel chain, Sorenson, 62, had earlier this month stepped back from full-time role to treat the cancer that was diagnosed in 2019.

Marriott said he died on Monday, February 15, and that it will appoint a new CEO in the next two weeks.

Sorenson took charge in March 2012 and led the $13-billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts in 2016, resulting in Marriott becoming the world’s biggest hotel chain with over 1 million rooms.

“He had an uncanny ability to anticipate where the hospitality industry was headed and position Marriott for growth,” executive chairman JW Marriott Jr said in a statement.

During Sorenson’s tenure, the company’s shares have jumped 242%, despite the 15% dent over the past year due to the coronavirus crisis that brought travel to a near halt.

In his absence, Stephanie Linnartz, group president, consumer operations, is overseeing the company’s lodging division, while Tony Capuano, group president for global development, is in charge of the United States and Canada lodging business.

“Given the leadership of the Marriott family and of Arne, the executive bench at Marriott is arguably the strongest in the industry and will have the knowledge and leadership to carry on the Marriott way,” Macquarie Research analyst Chad Beynon said. –

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