I'm Blown Away, Thanks to our GM's

April 18, 2012

I recently attended our full service General Manager's conference in Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE.  With hotels in 73 countries, our general session was like a United Nations general session.  We were all there to learn about the innovative things being developed by our brands, to share best practices and in my case to step off the stage as CEO after 40 years.  Kimberly Wilson

I saw a lot of familiar faces.  Our company has been fortunate to retain its General Managers an average of 25 years.  We’ve all grown up together and there’s no group responsible for the success of this company more than our General Managers.

General ManagersYou can’t study to be a hotel GM like you can a doctor or lawyer.  It’s a skill set developed through hands-on experience with the most important skill being "people skills."  A GM is the mayor of a mini city.  It’s a demanding job.  Think of all the services it takes to run a city and you get the idea. 

There’s accounting, sales and marketing, food and beverage, housekeeping, loss prevention, engineering, event planning, front office, front desk, concierge, room service and much more.  All these departments work in concert with each other.  A hotel General Manager has to keep the trains running on time: hot breakfasts, clean rooms, well manicured grounds, and -- most importantly -- smiling faces. Arne and GMs

There’s a well known business book called Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff.... and it’s all small stuff.  That’s the hotel business, it's all small stuff.   That’s why I visit 250 hotels a year.  When I walk into a hotel, I first look to see if the associates look happy.  Does the GM know the sous chef’s name or where the employee cafeteria is located? (I once walked into one of our competitor's hotels and the General Manager couldn’t find the employee cafeteria.) 

When I took the stage for the last time as CEO, I looked around and couldn’t help but get a little emotional.  My parents started out with very little in their pockets and built a restaurant business.  I started out working with one hotel and now I have been blessed with many more, almost 3800.  I told my daughter, Debbie, “I’m blown away.”  I never imagined all this.  We grew one hotel at a time and one General Manager at a time. 

Rainer Burkle Ritz-Carlton Shanghai PudongAs I step down off the stage, I have a lot of people to thank for this company’s great success.  No group has been more vital than that of our hotel General Managers.  I give you all a standing ovation from the bottom of my heart.

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

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I met Bill in 2006 at the Annual General Assembly for Marriott limited service GM's in LA. He is a man I will never be but aspire to be daily. An institution of knowledge. A great smile,kind. Warm and Fuzzy.

Your hands on management style is the reason that I started my hospitality education. After I read "The Spirit to Serve - Marriott's way" I knew what I had to do, so I did: I joined college and started my HND in Hospitality.

I really want to make difference in people lifes, and I really hope when the time comes, I can join your company as well.

Congratulations on your great work.

This blog is provide lots of good idea and your blog are very usefull for me.Thanks a lot.

Bill Marriott really deserves rest. You are a STAR Mr Bill. As one of your associates, the privilege is immense...To you Arne Sorenson I wish all the best. Again, Mr Bill, thank you!

Congratulations Mr. Marriott. I have been a fan of yours for many years.

My sales career started in the hospitality business and has progressed nicely over the past 30 years. Marriott has been a big part of my success both as a supplier to your hotels and as a customer.

Over the yeats I have held dozens of meetings, hundreds of nights and many more informal get togethers at the restaurants, lounges and lobby's of your fine Hotels. On the rare occasion that I have had an issue a response is alwasy quick and resolute! Your managment team is wonderful. They have driven me to meetings, gotton copies at 3:00 in the morning, helped with many, many dinner reservations and an occasional out of the way request like flowers for my wife.

Business travel is a challange for the best of us, your group of Hotels makes the time away from my home enjoyable and refreshing.

Thank you for all that you have done and best of luck in your new role.

Tom Lyons

Hello Mr. Marriott,

I have worked for Marriott International for 21 years and have been a General Manager for thirteen years at multiple select and full service properties. I want to thank you for the opportunities that you have given to me. Your words will keep me motivated every day. Thank you for your inspiration and leadership. There is no one else like you in this world.

I hope to one day be a GM of a Marriott property. Thank you, Mr Marriott and thanks to your parents for building such an amazing company that is enjoyable to work for.

most importantly -- smiling faces. Say it so well, he really is a successful people, very admire him.

Hi Bill -

I've become a lifetime platinum member because of your hotel managers. I've traveled the world for both business and personal reasons(and you can bet my personal travels are also in Marriott hotels, using points). Not only are your hotels and resorts beautiful, but your hotel managers go above and beyond to resolve every concern, if at all, I have ever brought to their attention.


The service philosophy behind the Marriott brand is what makes it different and exciting place to be not only for guests but for the staff. GM is the ultimate role in embedding this guest centricity and service excellence across the hotel. Many more yet to come.

Thanks, Mr. Marriott.

I totally agree with your words which have aroused me to start thinking about an appropriate program for our ambassadorsto thank our GM.

Dear Mr. Marriott, you are the one that has given all of us in that room of the JW LA the opertunety to become a General Manager! Looking forward to meet you again in Shanghai.

God Bless MR,Mrs Marriott They Have A Lot Of Class

I had not idea how much goes on behind the scenes at a hotel. I have a renewed respect for the GM's.