‘An exceptional human being’ Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson dies of cancer

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson.

Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson has died aged 62 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Sorenson recently announced he was stepping away from his CEO role to undergo further treatment.

J.W. Marriott Jr., executive chairman and chairman of the board, described Sorenson as “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 said.

“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.”

Sorenson oversaw the merger with Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 2016 which catapulted Marriott into the world’s largest hotel chain.

Stephanie Linnartz, group president of consumer operations, technology and emerging businesses; and Tony Capuano, group president of global development, design and operations services, will continue to oversee day-to-day operations until the board appoints a new CEO, which is expected to be within two weeks.