Figurehead, Visionary & Marriott President Arne Sorenson Has Died

Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson has died from pancreatic cancer.

“Arne was an exceptional executive – but more than that – he was an exceptional human being,” said J.W. Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board on the announcement of Sorenson’s death on 15FEB.

“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.”

In MAY 2019, the company announced that Sorenson had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. On 02FEB, 2021, Marriott shared the news that Sorenson would temporarily reduce his schedule to facilitate more demanding cancer treatment.

Sorenson became the third CEO in Marriott’s history in 2012. Marriott calls Sorenson “a visionary leader”, who put the company on a strong growth trajectory that included the US$13-billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

When Sorenson stepped back from full-time management in early FEB, the company appointed 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. Linnartz and Capuano will continue in this capacity until the Marriott Board appoints a new CEO, which is expected to be within the next two weeks.

During his leadership at Marriott, the company says, Sorenson, “advocated for environmental sustainability, human rights, and diversity and inclusion.”

He was the first CEO of Marriott to hold the position without the Marriott family name, and the company notes, “In 2019, Mr. Sorenson was named CEO of the Year by Chief Executive magazine and was placed on Forbes’ list of America’s Most Innovative Leaders and Barron’s list of World’s Best CEOs.”

Anna Kroupina


Anna's day starts at 5:30 a.m. each morning to scour daily travel news headlines to find the most relevant stories for Canadian travel advisors. She contributes to writing the daily news and covers events. The Alberta Rockies, Hawaii and France's Provence region are among her favourite destinations. She's a proud cat mom and a terrible snowboarder.

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