Growing Marriott: Our Merger with Starwood

September 22, 2016

 

NYC Times Square
Celebrating with President and CEO Arne Sorenson and associates in New York City's Times Square. (Charles Sykes/AP Images for Marriott International)

On this historic day, my parents are on my mind. The company they founded as a nine-seat root beer stand nearly 90 years ago today becomes the largest lodging company in the world. With Marriott International’s merger with Starwood complete, our family grows to 500,000 associates at more than 5,700 managed and franchised properties worldwide.

When the secret sauce of a business is your people, such growth might be cause for concern. Will there be a culture clash?

JWM at St Regis NY
Greeting some of our newest associates at the St. Regis in New York City.

I’m not worried. I’m confident we will successfully go from competitors to colleagues.

Starwood associates have an equal commitment to service excellence. They have a proven track record of taking care of guests all over the world. It gives me great comfort that the company values that were established by my parents will not only survive this transaction – they will become the glue that binds us together.

My father, J. Willard Marriott, Sr. had a bold vision. He always talked about the need to grow while never losing sight of what it was that made our guests come back again and again – our wonderful associates.

Starwood and Marriott associates both understand the role we play in travelers’ lives. We see our guests on their best days – like when they choose to celebrate a wedding or an anniversary with us – and on their worst days – like when they arrive exhausted after spending the day at the bedside of a sick child or parent. We give rest to the road warriors, who travel the world on a quest for business, and we are there for well-earned vacations.

The constant through it all is service. We ensure that our guests feel as though they are being welcomed home even when they are halfway around the world. And while a beautiful hotel and comfortable bed are a part of that, it’s our people who make the big difference. The friendly smile, the attention to detail, the commitment to meeting our guests’ needs – all are hallmarks of a great stay and the tremendous staying power of our company.

To the hundreds of thousands of Marriott International associates – regardless of the brand on the name tag you wear -- be it W, Renaissance, Westin or Courtyard or any of the 30 brands now in our global portfolio – you are all part of the Marriott International family. Our intention is to take care of you so you will take care of our guests. That is how we have built this business for nearly 90 years and what will define our success for years to come.

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

Listen to audio



###

Read the official press release about the Starwood acquisition.

 

Spirit to Serve in Baton Rouge

September 6, 2016
L-R: Emmanuel Fernandez, Baton Rouge Courtyard; Charles Leggett, New Orleans Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center; Kelvin Brown, New Orleans Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center; Stacie Lindsay, Baton Rouge Courtyard; Gary Lindsay, Homeowner; Alvin Pierre, New Orleans Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center At Marriott, we coined the phrase...

Rules for Success Recap

August 15, 2016
A few weeks ago I posted a list of my rules for being a successful leader. I created my list based on my father’s guideposts to management. This list has served me well throughout my career. I think each of the rules for success is essential for all leaders, and...

Rolling With the Changes

August 1, 2016
Any company that’s been around close to 90 years has learned to roll with changes. Much of the reason we’ve been able to weather the good times and the bad is that our company doesn’t just accept change… we embrace it. It started just after my parents opened their root...

Rules for Success

July 18, 2016
I like lists. They keep me organized; they keep me focused. I operate best with lists. From my years writing on this blog, I know my readers like lists, too. Two of the most viewed topics on my blog have been my 12 Rules for Success and my father’s Guideposts...

A Safe Haven

June 14, 2016
It’s not uncommon for me to hear about how the teams at any one of our 4,400 hotels are going above and beyond to help a guest. It’s one of our core values… putting people first. I recently came across a newspaper article about the Courtyard Newark – University of...

Learn to Love the Pickiest Customer

May 31, 2016
We’ve all seen picky customers. They seem impossible to please… they’ll nitpick every little detail. It’s too hot, it’s too cold; the beds are too hard, the pillow are too soft. Most people throw their hands up and say “they’ll never be satisfied, I give up!” But, I challenge you...

Spirit to Serve

May 18, 2016
Some of our Marriott International Headquarters associates helping construct a playground. I mentioned last week that May is a big month for our company. We’ve got lots to celebrate during the anniversary month of our company’s founding. We spend a lot of time focusing on our terrific associates, applauding them...

A Time to Celebrate

May 12, 2016
Celebrating at the gala with the 2016 Awards of Excellence Honorees. The month of May is always a time of celebration for our company. We plan a number of exciting events around the company anniversary, May 20. Each year I look forward to one of my favorite events… the Awards...

Our Competitive Advantage

April 25, 2016
My parents' root beer stand in 1927 and the SpringHill Suites & Residence Inn San Diego Downtown Bayfront, opened earlier this month. Looking back at where we’ve come from – a small root beer stand started in 1927 – has always been an important part of our company’s culture. You...

Give Me a Break

April 11, 2016
Celebrating my recent birthday with my family at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort. According to a recent study done by the U.S. Travel Association’s “Project: Time Off” campaign, American workers report using almost a full week less of vacation leave than they did 20 years ago. And, only...