In a grievous announcement on Tuesday, the world's largest hotel chain Marriott announced the demise of its president and CEO Arne Sorenson. The Marriott executive was aged 62 and had been battling cancer since 2019.
It was in May of 2019 when Marriott announced Sorenson's diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Earlier this month, Sorenson took a step back from his regular schedule to get the necessary treatment for his cancer.
"Since my diagnosis, I've been working with a great medical team at Johns Hopkins to treat this cancer. 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 had said earlier this month.
Sorenson remained Marriott's president and CEO but directed two veterans Stephanie Linnartz and Tony Capuano to share the responsibilities. A new CEO is to be appointed within the next two weeks.
Who was Arne Sorenson?
Arne Sorenson was the third CEO in Marriott's history and the first to have assumed the position without a Marriott surname. Recognized as a visionary leader, it was under his leadership the hotel giant witnessed a $13-billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts and expansion of the company's holdings. Sorenson was also credited with making the company more inclusive and environmentally friendly.
"Arne was an exceptional executive — but more than that — he was an exceptional human being. He had an uncanny ability to anticipate where the hospitality industry was headed and position Marriott for growth. But the roles he relished the most were as husband, father, brother and friend. We will miss Arne deeply," J.W. Marriott said in a statement.