Marriot International has announced the death of chief executive, Arne Sorenson, at the age of 62.
The industry leader had stepped back from his role at the hotel giant earlier this month to facilitate more demanding treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Sorenson, who died yesterday, became only the third chief executive in the history of Marriott in 2012, and the first without the Marriott surname.
As its leader, Sorenson put the company on a strong growth trajectory that included the $13-billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
“Arne was an exceptional executive – but more than that – he was an exceptional human being,” said J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman of the Marriott board.
“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.”
When Sorenson stepped back from full-time management in early February, the company tapped two veteran Marriott executives, Stephanie Linnartz, group president, consumer operations, technology, and emerging businesses, and Tony Capuano, group president, global development, design, and operations services, to share responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the business units and corporate functions, in addition to maintaining their current responsibilities.
Linnartz and Capuano will continue in this capacity until the Marriott Board appoints a new chief executive, which is expected to be within the next two weeks.