Marriott CEO to step back from role during cancer treatment

Feb 3, 2021

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Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson is temporarily reducing his schedule in order to undergo more demanding treatment for cancer.

The world’s largest hotel chain announced on Tuesday that Sorenson will step back in his role from full-time oversight of the company for “several months.” During the period when Sorenson steps back, he will “stay involved in directing the company to the extent practical and remain a member of the board of directors.”

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“Since my diagnosis, I’ve been working with a great medical team at Johns Hopkins to treat this cancer,” Sorenson said in a statement. “While I have worked throughout my treatment to date and plan to remain as engaged in the business as my health allows, the right thing to do for me, my family and the company is to focus on my health.”

Sorenson was first diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer in May 2019. At the time, Sorenson detailed that the cancer was discovered early and hadn’t spread.

“I, along with my family and my medical team, remain optimistic about my prognosis and I plan to return full-time after the conclusion of my treatments,” Sorenson said.

Sorenson has tapped two long-time Marriott executives to share the responsibilities of the day-to-day operations while he steps back. Group President of Consumer Operations, Technology and Emerging Businesses Stephanie Linnartz will oversee Marriott’s international lodging division as well as legal, human resources and communications and public affairs. Group President of Global Development, Design and Operations Services Tony Capuano will oversee the company’s U.S. and Canada lodging division and finance in Sorenson’s absence.

Sorenson has been the CEO of Marriott since 2012 and is the only person outside of the Marriott family to lead the company. He oversaw the acquisition and merger of Starwood to create the combined Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain.

Featured photo by South China Morning Post/Getty Images.

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