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.