Growing Marriott: Our Merger with Starwood

September 23, 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.


The comments to this entry are closed.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

to mr Marriott I met you and your wife donna at the Grosvenor house in june 2015 we met as I was about to depart for royal ascot and we briefly chatted about the purchase/merger of Marriott and starwood and now it is a reality CONGRATULATIONS
a satisfied marrioteer am I rewrads number 040925554
and a fellow Marylander (MR) ragan lentz

Dear Mr. Bill Marriott and Mr. Arne Sorenson,

I want to say a big CONGRATULATIONS to you!! I am very proud of you both for all the hard work and dedication it took to get to this historic day. I am grateful to be a part of the Marriott family and always let others know about how good it is to work for Marriott. I am excited for all the new adventures to come now that we are the world's biggest and best* hospitality company. God bless you and your families.

Mishalle Roza-Ingram
Night Auditor

Courtyard by Marriott
West Dundee, IL

I am so proud to be part of this historic moment.
Thank you for letting me be part of this wonderful family.

I am very delighted to join this great family, have a share of the Marriott's dream and work towards achieving that. Now that we are even bigger we will achieve more and I know my part to play. From the Learning and Development point of view, I know it is my duty to empower our associates to take good care of our guest, make them happy and win their loyalty in return.
Only well trained, agile and Knowledgeable associates can achieve such a milestone and my duty is give them all the training and support they need.
Marriott is getting bigger and "together we're better".

Mr. Marriott, I am a Voyager at the Houston Marriott West Loop just started my career about 3 months ago and I feel so overwhelmed with joy to be apart of this historic moment. I look forward to all the wonderful opportunities to come in the future and to grow with this amazing company!

Congratulations! You inspire me.

Dear Bill Marriott

Congratulations, This great moment is really a pride for all of us, we proud to work with one of the biggest brand in the world. We love to work in Marriott. We always with you to keep Marriott on the move.


Marriott Karachi.

This is indeed a remarkable and one of the best day in my life.
having started my career to work with Marriott 10 years back, I was impressed with the way you brought the culture up Mr. Marriott. here I am again back to you and proud I am part of this wonderful company. I am sure this merger will bring the best to the world and us.

my dad worked for your hotel in saudi arabia. he said its the best hotel chain in the world.

September 23,2016 I am humbled to have the privilege of celebrating my 34th year with this fabulous company. Thirty-four years ago I would have never dreamed of a better celebration,a portfolio of 5700 Hotels,110 Countries and 30 Brands.

Thank you for all the memories and always knowing that success is only a start to greater adventures...

Teri Mahr
Sales Specialist
Northeast Sales Marriott International

My first stay at a Marriott was the Maui Marriott the 100th Marriott hotel. Marriott was the brand. While I have stayed at most of the pre Starwood brands when I see the red Marriott sign I feel like I am home!

Dear Mr Marriott
Your parents would be Proud!
Congratulation bringing home your Cousin & Family Member "Sheraton" only a bit younger than Marriott, at 79yrs old. Finally together! Well Done.

So very excited to be a part of this New Marriott Family, I feel like I made "Hands Down" best decision to stay with Marriott when we incurred our own Merger of The Delta Brand. I feel all Associates will feel as we do in little or no time, That "together we ARE Better"! This is a Great Team.


I hope everyone is having a wonderful 'first day' for this is an important milestone for our Marriott family. I am TRULY excited to be a part of this and look forward to the days/months/years to come. I am in Reservation Sales out of Omaha and I am new, myself. I would like to give a warm welcome all associates to the Marriott family and I am excited to be working alongside you. :)


After starting my career with Marriott, I am proud to once again be reunited with old colleagues and be introducing our associates to the string Marriott Culture and core values that will make us the most powerful brand in the planet.

Congrats on pulling off this remarkable feat, Mr. Marriott. I am so very excited about the merger and the bright future ahead for our combined powerhouses. I have been proud to work for Marriott since the day I started over 14 years ago, and I am honored today to work for the biggest and best lodging company on the planet. There is nothing we can't do, because together we're better!

My name is Michele quartieri.I work at Fairfield inn in Rochester NY I have worked for Marriott for 22 years.i strive to make everyday the very best I can for our guests.our hotel was no 10 in the US.fairfield south Henrietta from our gm to our laundry we give our guests and our repeat guests the very best service.i am very proud of our associates I am a room attendant.hopefully u read this and like it thank you Mr Marriott for for allowing me to work for the best

Beautifully said Mr. Marriott. For me I feel I have come full circle, started my career at The Plaza, then a Westin Hotel. Some of my friends still work for Starwood/Westin and I have reached out to them excited we are together again! Looking forward to the future.

Cordially Yours,
Lori Hamilton-Rindone.

I am so blessed to be a part of the historic merger of two successful companies.

Mr. Marriott, CONGRATULATIONS!!! Feeling so proud to be part of this great company at this historic moment. Committed to carry on living our core values in all my daily interactions.

Together we are better and this is where I belong.

Thank you and Wishing you good health.

Take care.

Best regards