Tragic news today, as Marriott announced the passing of CEO Arne Sorenson, 62. He passed away yesterday, February 15, 2021, due to pancreatic cancer.
Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson Loses Battle To Pancreatic Cancer
Sorenson became the first CEO not named “Marriott” in 2012. During his tenure, Marriott acquired Starwood and enjoyed many years of profitability.
In May 2019, the Marriott announced that Sorenson had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In February 2021, he reduced his role at the hotel chain as he sought more aggressive treatment.
J.W. Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, reflected upon Sorenson’s passing:
“Arne was 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.”
A pair of senior Marriott executives have been filling in for Sorenson since February and will continue in their caretaker role until Marriott appoints a new CEO, expected to take place later this month.
Death always reminds me of this stanza of O God Our Help In Ages Past:
Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.
How difficult it is to lose a loved one. How especially difficult to lose a loved one to cancer. My thoughts and prayers are with the Sorenson family this morning.
Thank you for posting the stanza from ‘O God Our help in ages past’ – a great paraphrase of Psalm 90. This hymn is one of my favorites, and reminds us that He alone is our refuge and strength.
RIP. Way too young to go. 🙁
I heard him speak a number of times at GBTA and other events. Visionary leader and super communicator. Condolences to his family and the wider Marriott team.
Sharing in your thoughts and prayers for the Sorenson family. May God’s grace and presence be with them during this season of loss and mourning.
If you go into a Marriott ( I was in a Courtyard this weekend), there is a video of him talking about what they are doing for Covid. I couldn’t help but think that he didn’t look well and looked way older than 62.
just death around the edges
I’m unable to comment knowledgeably on Sorenson as a private person. As a CEO he was terrible. Before him, Marriott had a strong dedication to their people and their people were expected to pass that dedication on to their customers. Sorenson viewed long time employees as completely dispensable and loyal customers as adversaries rather than valued partners. Having lost close members of my family to pancreatic cancer, I absolutely sympathize with his family. He may have been a wonderful person in his private life; let’s just not confuse that with him being other than a terrible CEO.
I agree with @Christian. Just truly awful as CEO, and hopeless in the SPG acquisition. On the other hand , he may well have been very popular with Marriott stockholders: they made a lot of money during his tenure. Seemed personally nice.
62 is very young and pancreatic is a terrible cancer ( strong association with cigarettes, booze and red meat consumption, and sometimes just out of the blue…)