Marriott says CEO Arne Sorenson died after battle with cancer

February 16, 2021 0 By boss

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Arne Sorenson, CEO, Marriott International speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020.

Adam Galica | CNBC

Arne Sorenson, who was credited with turning Marriott International into the world’s largest hotel chain after acquiring Starwood Hotels & Resorts in a $13 billion deal in 2016, has died.

Sorenson, the third CEO in Marriott’s history and the first outside the founding family, passed away on Monday, the company said in a press release Tuesday. He was 62 years old and had been undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Sorenson expanded the business’ presence worldwide, under dozens of brands, including W Hotels, Ritz-Carlton, Courtyard and Sheraton.

Most recently, he was tasked with leading the business through a pandemic, which has brought most global and domestic travel to a standstill.

In May 2019, the hotel operator had announced that Sorenson had been diagnosed with cancer. Earlier this month, it shared the news that the CEO would be temporarily cutting back his work schedule to accommodate more demanding treatment.

Marriott had already, earlier this year tapped two executives – Stephanie Linnartz, group president of consumer operations, technology and emerging businesses; and Tony Capuano, group president of global development, design and operations services – to oversee day-to-day operations, filling in for Sorenson.

The company said Tuesday that Linnartz and Capuano will continue to do so until the board appoints a new CEO, which is expected to be in the next two weeks.

Marriott shares were up less than 1% in premarket trading Tuesday, having fallen about 12% over the past 12 months. The hotel operator has a market cap of nearly $42 billion.

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