It is with profound sadness that Marriott International announces that Arne M. Sorenson, 62, President and CEO, unexpectedly passed away on February 15, 2021. In May 2019, the company announced that Mr. Sorenson had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. On February 2, 2021, Marriott shared the news that Mr. Sorenson would temporarily reduce his schedule to facilitate more demanding treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Arne Sorenson joined Marriott in 1996. He became the third CEO in the company’s history in 2012 – and the first without the Marriott surname. Prior to that, he served as Marriott’s President and Chief Operating Officer. He has held a number of positions, including Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and President of Continental European Lodging. He was elected to Marriott’s Board of Directors in 2011.
A visionary leader, Arne Sorenson put the company on a strong growth trajectory that included the $13-billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, making Marriott the world's leading hotel group.
Known for his leadership on difficult national and global issues, Mr. Sorenson steered Marriott to make significant progress on diversity, equity and inclusion, environmental sustainability and human trafficking awareness. In March 2020, he announced that he would forego his salary for the rest of 2020 in order to lessen the impact of COVID-19 on Marriott International.
"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. “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.".
Arne Sorenson had chaired the Hospitality Awards ceremony in 2008. The Marriott Board of Directors will appoint a new CEO in the next two weeks. The editors of Hospitality ON extend their sincere condolences to his family, loved ones and and the entire Marriott International Family.