Changes at the Top (Me)

December 13, 2011

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In 2012, we celebrate the 85th birthday of our company and I proudly celebrate my 60th year of service.  During the past six decades, I have had the privilege to know and work with some of the most talented people in the world.  Our associates have always been my extended family to me, and one of the greatest joys in life has been to see so many find a welcoming place and rewarding opportunities at Marriott.

History hot shoppe Original Color Hot ShoppeIt’s amazing to think about what has been accomplished since that little root beer stand was opened so many years ago by my mom and dad in 1927.  As we look to the future, I can honestly say I have never been more confident about our company. 

In that regard, one of my most important responsibilities is to ensure that we are well positioned to succeed in the future.  With the support and approval of our Board of Directors, I am excited to announce a change in my role and other changes in our leadership team.

Effective March 31, I will assume the role of Executive Chairman of the company and relinquish the role of Chief Executive Officer. I will remain chairman of our company’s board of directors.  As Executive Chairman, I will continue to share my many years of experience with our senior management team as we pursue future growth.  My energies will also be directed at reinforcing the timeless core values that have been the bedrock of our success. I still plan on visiting a lot of our hotels and continuing to be a company ambassador as we build opportunity throughout the world.  

ArneSorensonJWMjr 7:2008I am particularly pleased to announce that Arne Sorenson has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer by the Board, also effective March 31. There is no one more deserving or capable of assuming the role at this important juncture in the company’s history.  Arne knows the business, lives our core values and has the respect and admiration of all of the company’s major stakeholders.  I have the utmost confidence in Arne as I hand over the day-to-day reins of the business to him.   

I personally recruited Arne to Marriott in 1996 after working extensively with him in the early 1990’s on the split that created what are now called Marriott International and Host Hotels & Resorts.  His success would appear to have come easily, but Arne complemented his wonderful talent with good old-fashioned hard work, team-play and a drive for results.  By 1998, he had become our Chief Financial Officer and later added responsibility for overseeing our business in Europe.  In 2009, he was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer.  As his supervisor, mentor and friend, I could not be happier for him or more pleased for our company.

Bob McCarthyI am also delighted to announce that Bob McCarthy has been promoted to Chief Operations Officer for Marriott International, effective March 31.  In this role, Bob will continue to have oversight for Global Lodging Services and The Ritz-Carlton Hotels.  Our Continent Presidents will also have a reporting line to Bob in addition to their primary reporting relationship to Arne.

As a 35-year veteran of the company, Bob has made significant contributions to our growth and performance and has distinguished himself with his business leadership and stewardship of our company culture. His career, which began as a restaurant waiter, is a tribute to the opportunity that is possible at Marriott.  I am proud and pleased to announce this significant career milestone.

I am excited by all that Arne and Bob will bring to their new roles and am pleased to continue our great partnership.  I ask that you join me in congratulating them and wishing success to all of us in our new roles.

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


Posted:12/17/2011 12:04 PM

Thanks for all the warm comments. I must correct a misunderstanding. I'm NOT RETIRING. I'll be Executive Chairman concentrating on growth and promoting tourism. I'll explain more in future blogs. HAPPY HOLIDAYS - Bill.

P.S. You may enjoy watching a video excerpt of our HQ rally:


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Very sorry to hear of your loss. I met you along with Todd while working for Gary T.. You have always been very kind to me. Back then we considered Marriott the absolute best company to grow with. We were right then and I am sure it is true today. The people at Marriott including Todd Clist and Bob McCarthy are among the finest people I've ever had a chance to meet.
If kindness and warmth were rewarded in family life Steven would have lived to 100.

Best regards

Miss being one of ur employees, take of ur guests they will take of
. You. My motto. Thank u for teaching. Hospitalitality

Hi i am happy to work in Marriots I Have A 100% Job Satisfaction Recently Selected For An EDP Programe And I Am Happy For That Thank U From the Bottom of My Heart Thank You Once again

Mr. Marriott Congratulations... I only travel once or may be twice a year but I ALWAYS stay at a Fairfield Inn. My wife and I are 65 and retired. All I can say is your Fairfield Inn's are "just the best"! After driving all day the folks that represent Marriot greet us at the front desk like were family!The rooms are clean and the beds are wonderful... I wish you well.
Jay Hauser
Richfield, MN

Mr MarriottFirst congratulations on your new position. I am a new associate of the world center in Orlando, Florida. I love my job and enjoy comming to work everyday. It's because of the foundation you established long ago that we are here today. Happy holidays to you and your family.

Next time your at our hotel I would love the opportunity to meet you personally.

God Bless You

Bill, it seems that only yesterday we were working the "curb" in Salt Lake City...congratulations on your 60th anniversary with Marriott, Be wll, and God Bless You.

Hello Mr. marriott

My name is Eduardo and I work as a front desk Agent and Night Auditor at Residence Inn Sea World. Just wanted to tell you that you inspire me to do my best here at the hotel day in and day out. When I started the position as Night Auditor I must admit I was scared and nervous to be alone at the front desk. I imagine how you felt in the begining of it all when you were put in command of the ship, it must have been scary. You give me courage and hope that all will be okay with me and of course God palys a big role also. God bless you and your family here and the ones in heaven.



Best company I had the fortune to work for MARRIOTT INT

Wow, what a career. Mr. Marriott can be proud of the growth he has brought to this company. I began with Marriott 25 years ago in the Food & Services Management Division. Even though Marriott exited the business in 2002, I still feel a connection to the company.. the values and family style. Seems like yesterday that we were celebrating the 500th hotel in Warsaw Poland! I wish I were celebrating 25years with Marriott and would be if they hadn't sold us for growth in the core business. Congratulations, Mr. Marriott on a job well done.

Congratulations... You have 60 years in the industry and
I have 46 years...You and I had the pleasure of meeting in New Jersey many moons ago/at a travel agency function in New Jersey..
I sound like you...//I am not retiring!!

Wishing you the best of everything..
we love the love travel agent////motto.
God Bless you and your family

I have been working with Marriott starting in 2000, and have recently returned to a Marriott franchised property after teaching English for 3 years to adults in Thailand. I have taught business the way Marriott has shown me, and the best practices apply in every field. I have a question for Mr. Marriott, and I hope he can reply. I am writing a paper for college regarding Leadership, and J.W. Marriott Sr. is the focus. I would like to know what leadership qualities did you admire most about your father, and in your opinion, is there anyone today that can emulate those qualities to his caliber?

Just a quick note to say how my partner (Barry Beechey) and I enjoyed a week at Marriot Pattaya. The gardens are superb, swimming pool is possibly the best I have ever been in. but the best thing about Pattaya Marriot is the staff - wonderful friendly and helpful people.
Yes, they are friendly and helpful, but it is credit to your approach to HR and the ability to find the right people. I believe you ahve done this well at Pattaya.
My partner and I went to Pattaya based on a recommendation of your hotel - not Pattaya itself. Pattaya is probably not the top of my list of places to visit, but the Marriot is. Loved our time their, it was fabulous!


I am happy for all executive members in Marriot.
Congratulations and Happy Birthday!!

Mr. Marriott, congratulations! You have shown great leadership and have been an inspiration to us all! You should take some time now to enjoy life and spend more time with your family. You have left a wonderful legacy that I'm sure you are proud of that makes us all glad to be associated with a company like Marriott. With the guidance of Mr. Sorenson, these traditions of integrity, high ethical standards as well as being environmentally responsible will continue. These are admirable qualities that other companies should emulate! I wish you the best in your future endeavors and hope you have a healthy and happy new year!

Mr. Marriott, Congratulations! You have shown great leadership and have been an inspiration to us all! You should take some time now to enjoy life and spend more time with your family. You have left a wonderful legacy that I'm sure you are proud of that makes us all glad to be associated with a company like Marriott. With the guidance of Mr. Sorenson, these traditions of integrity, high ethical standards as well as being environmentally responsible will continue. These are admirable qualities that other companies should emulate! I wish you the best in your future endeavors and hope you have a healthy and happy new year!
I have a question though regarding extending the associate room discount after retiring for those of us that have many years of service. Is it possible to have this available after our employment ends?

Great blog information

Wonderful article

Thanks for writing such an useful blog. I learnt so many things on how to connect with your audience.

Happy Holidays!

Arup Bhanja
Bangalore, INDIA.

Mr. Marriott, As an Associate and 40 years in the Hotel Business, your influence on the Hospitality Business especially at Marriott has been ever present in my working life. The sense of confidence your leadership brought and will continue to bring to Marriott is your greatest legacy. No matter how bad the Economy was at the time, Mr. Marriott would always find a way to grow the business, continue to innovate, tighten the budget and provide opportunities for all associates. I've always been proud to say I work for Marriott and there is actually a Mr. Marriott who works 24/7/365 to make sure our Customers are satisfied!

What a great executive you have been over the years! You always answered my letters. You have a great company. Don't let it change after you leave like Wal-Mart did when Sam Walton left.

Dear Mr B Marriott as one of your many Ambassidors may i say that you are everyones favourite Grandpa, every working day of my life is different working in my property LHRBR and for me to get up and come to work certainly is not a chore but its a great passion and pride for my hotel and collegues to whom i am so , so lucky to work with, coming to work is like coming home. May I wish you and all the Marriott family a very mMerry Christams and a fantastic new year god bless each and everyone of you

Congratulations and Happy Holidays to all at the HQ.I was very fortunate to have met Mr. Marriott when he visited our RI in Richmond Va.a very humble man indeed. I treasure the picture of our team and himself.

My interaction and love for this man is beyond words.. 4 years ago, I was in a very bad place with my weight. I weighed 458 lbs and I was looking to get the sleeve surgery to help me.. The Insurance Co. would not allow me to have it.. I called on Mr. Bill Marriott, and he fixed everything for me.. I had to find the right Dr. to do the surgery, and finally May 5th 2010. I got the sleeve surgery.. I have now lost 216 lbs, and I have a 44 waist, and going on large chest... I have only 30 lbs to go for my personal goal, and the final plastic surgery.. I own everything to this man.. I was unable up to this point to find out how to get a hold of him.. This is a God sent.. Mr. Marriott. I still work at the Ritz-Carlton.. Used to be the Golf resort in Naples’s now, I am in Philadelphia.. I am here to be closer to my Mom and Dad, in CT.. My Mom is very ill and I need to be with both of them.. I am still looking to get closer to them in CT.. Mr. Marriott, I would love to be able to shake your hand and give you a huge for all that you are and mean to me.. I hope I get that chance. God Bless you, and I love you.... I would love to show you the before and after pic's, please let me know how I can.. Again, God Bless.

Dear Mr. Marriott, First of all a sincere congratulations. Secondly, I would like to remind you of an event more than 30 years ago when as a youngish man I wrote a complaint letter to you. Your individual and personally signed letter back has ALWAYS stuck in my mind as an example of what true customer service and brand loyalty is all about. You excelled where many others would have hid. And consequently, I hold you in the highest esteem as a individual who stands behind his service, company and reputation. A job well done.

Glenn Walters

I,m sure these moves will keep Marriott the top of the lodging business and will benefit not only our associates but will benefit our guest World Wide.

Congradulation to ALL!