Marriott CEO, Arne Sorenson announced Bill Marriott would transition to Chairman Emeritus in 2022 and would be replaced by his son, David Marriott. The company also announces new North American and International leadership.
Son of J.W. Marriott, Bill Marriott became CEO in 1972 and Chairman in 1985.
"For now, Bill, let me say thank you," Arne Sorenson, Marriott's CEO said on the call, according to a SeekingAlpha transcript. "To me, you are a boss, a mentor, a friend and truly, family. I cannot imagine a time without your partnership and friendship, and I pray that there are many more years ahead for us."
David Marriott currently serves as President of U.S. Operations for Managed by Marriott, the hotel management arm. He plans to step down from that role next year and join the Company's Board of Directors, and then become Chair in 2022.
"David is well-suited to join our Board and I know he will bring not only his operations and sales experience but also his deep understanding of Marriott’s culture to Board-level conversation and decision-making," said Arne Sorenson.
The CEO also announced the retirement of David Grissen, who will step down from his role as Head of the Americas towards the end of 2020 retire from Marriott in the first quarter of 2021.
"It’s hard for me to picture a Marriott without Dave Grissen, someone who has been such an integral part of this company for so long," said Arne Sorenson. "Dave is the consummate strategist with the mind of an operator. He is as equally skilled at driving successful implementation as he is at looking over the horizon to identify that next, new idea. Perhaps his most important legacy is the work he has done to champion leadership training and the impact that had developing new leaders and driving performance at our hotels across the region. We will certainly miss Dave, but I know that the next phase of his life will be as dynamic and meaningful as his extraordinary tenure here at Marriott."
The company also outlined a restructuring of the company's geographic leadership starting next year. Liam Brown, who currently oversees the company's EMEA division, will become the Head of the North America division. All regions outside of North America will be overseen by Craig Smith, who currently leads the Asia Pacific division.
"The changes we are making will help define a new era for our organization – one that will accelerate our global aspirations,” said Arne Sorenson. "We are lucky to have such a deep executive bench to draw from – both Craig and Liam are superbly talented and will bring tremendous experience to these roles."
During April, Marriott's global RevPAR declined by 90% year-over-year. About 25% of the company's hotels have been temporarily closed. However, Arne Sorenson is confident the company has enough liquidity to make it through the crisis, which he said is the worst Marriott has faced in its 92-year history.