Marriott International on Tuesday announced that Arne Sorenson, the company's longtime president and CEO, unexpectedly passed away on Feb. 15, 2021. He was 62 years old.
Earlier this month, Sorenson said he would temporarily reduce his schedule to facilitate more demanding treatment for pancreatic cancer after being diagnosed in May 2019.
A Luther College and University of Minnesota Law School graduate, Sorenson became the head of Marriott on March 31, 2012. He was the first person outside of the Marriott family to lead the company.
Sorenson and J.W. Marriott, Jr.
Sorenson put the company on a strong growth trajectory that included the $13-billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
Sorenson was tireless in driving the company's progress, Marriott said, steering the company to make significant progress on diversity, equity and inclusion, environmental sustainability and human trafficking awareness.
Prior to his time at Marriott he had been a director at Walmart and practiced mergers and acquisitions law in Washington D.C.
"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, said in a state,emt. "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."
When Sorenson stepped back from full-time management in early February, Marriott tapped 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 units and corporate functions, in addition to maintaining their current responsibilities.
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.
Sorenson greeting associates at Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina.