(CMR) Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson, credited with turning Marriott International into the world’s largest hotel chain, died on Monday after battling pancreatic cancer.
Sorenson was the third CEO in Marriott’s history and the first outside its founding family.
He was credited with turning Marriott International into the world’s largest hotel chain following Starwood Hotels & Resorts' acquisition in a $13 billion deal in 2016.
Sorenson, who took on the role of CEO in 2012, was born in Japan and grew up in Minnesota.
Earlier this month, Marriot announced that Sorenson would be temporarily cutting back his work schedule to accommodate more demanding treatment.
Sorenson had worked through the COVID-19 pandemic holding the company together despite travel being brought to a standstill globally.
J.W. Marriott Jr., executive chairman and chairman of the board, remembered Sorenson as an “exceptional executive, but more than that, he was an exceptional human being.”
“Arne loved every aspect of this business and relished time spent touring our hotels and meeting associates around the world. 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. On behalf of the Board and Marriott’s hundreds of thousands of associates around the world, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Arne’s wife and four children. We share your heartbreak, and we will miss Arne deeply,” Marriott Jr. said.
Executives Stephanie Linnartz and Tony Capuano filled in for Sorenson during his leave and will continue to do so until a new CEO is announced in two weeks.