“It is with profound sadness that Marriott International announces that Arne M Sorenson, President and CEO, unexpectedly passed away on February 15, 2021,” the company said in an official statement.
According to the statement, in May 2019, the company announced that Sorenson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. On February 2, 2021, Marriott shared the news that Sorenson would temporarily reduce his schedule to facilitate more demanding treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Sorenson became the third CEO in Marriott’s history in 2012, and the first without the Marriott surname.
“A visionary leader, Sorenson put the company on a strong growth trajectory that included the USD 13-billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. During his tenure as CEO, Sorenson was tireless in driving the company’s progress, creating opportunities for associates, growth for owners and franchisees and results for the company’s shareholders,” the company said further.
Known for his leadership on difficult national and global issues, Sorenson steered Marriott to make significant progress on diversity, equity and inclusion, environmental sustainability and human trafficking awareness.
“Arne was an exceptional executive – but more than that – he was an exceptional human being,” said JW Marriott, Jr, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the 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,” he added.