My son John devoted his heart and soul to learning the business. My daughter, Debbie, is the mother of five, and although she worked at Marriott as a teenager, she stayed home with her kids for three decades. Today she works as Marriott’s head of government relations, but she’s been in that role only a few years. The prior deal would have been $1 billion. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. We are not going to pay attention to the short-term ramifications of this because the name of the game is to maintain the trust that we have, and maybe even build on the trust we have by telling them what we know, by telling them as we learn more, what more we learn. She became a U.S. citizen, learned English and raised her bright, beautiful daughter, Iris. He doesn’t have the temperament to run a company the size of Marriott today, with 3,800 properties and 18 brands. Until 2012 it had had only two CEOs, and Marriott had always thought that one of his four children would succeed him in that role. He spent a lot of time marking up contracts, redoing the work of the company’s lawyers. Marriott was involved in a big lawsuit, and Arne was one of the lawyers who represented us. Copyright © 2020 Harvard Business School Publishing. Trinity Hospital Sunday: daughter to Marie Whitetaileagle and Tyson Eagleman, New Town. Arne SORENSEN passed away 2018. https://chiefexecutive.net/2019-ceo-of-the-year-marriott-arne-sorenson Arne was clearly the right choice, and it was time. Beyond his performance, the most important thing Arne did during those years was develop his people skills. Marriott International. That isn’t the life for him. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Marriott was involved in a big lawsuit, and Arne was one of the lawyers who represented us. Trained as a lawyer, Sorenson had an unusual path to the corner office. I was only 32 and had worked at the company full-time for just eight years. We brought him in to head our mergers and acquisitions team. After World War II, Sørensen was a member of the Danish Parliament and Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs . The case involved a lot of incredibly complicated financial details, and Arne helped me first to understand and then to explain them so that they sounded simple. But that doesn’t rule out another Marriott as the fourth chief executive, he says. He has tremendous potential, but at the moment, he is still learning. Since then he has founded a medical testing company, which is going to be very successful, and he also serves as the CEO of JWM Family Enterprises, a family trust that he founded, which owns and operates 16 hotels. Check. 3. We really couldn’t confirm that anything was taken until November. If you’re facing them alone, you’re probably in a dangerous place. But that didn’t make it a horse race between him and John. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Two-year-old Debbie Marriott, Bill and Donna’s daughter, snips the ribbon. I first met Arne Sorenson, who eventually succeeded me, in 1993. So, you’ve got a period of six weeks or so where you’re working like dogs to try and figure out as much as you possibly can and, then, ultimately, get to a place where you decide to disclose and what the strategy is around disclosure. Photography: Getty Images/Bloomberg The Idea:For decades Bill Marriott expected that his son would become the third generation to lead the global hotel company. January 6 at 9:57 AM. He obviously had deep insights into the hotel business, which he continues to offer as vice chairman of our board. 1969. It’s been more than a year since Arne officially took over, and I’m quite happy with how the process has turned out. No. But he wanted to try something new, not law. Prominent CEOs of public companies who think the Almighty is about more than the dollar. This is an 85-year-old company that until 2012 had had only two CEOs, and our family’s involvement provides a great sense of continuity. Some of them were probably viewed as potential successors, but I was in no hurry to give up the job. John performed very well in all those roles. As personally disappointing as that was to both of us, I had to make the right decision for the company. “Why don’t I make you your own tree?” her dad offered, and he did. Earlier today, President and CEO Arne Sorenson shared this message w... ith Marriott International associates regarding the events at the U.S. Capitol yesterday. In an emotional video message on Thursday to Marriott International employees, CEO Arne Sorenson characterized the coronavirus crisis as more severe for … When they built a new home in 1992, it left them with a pile of scrap cedar. But as time went on, Bill Marriott realized that it wasn’t the right fit—for either John or the company. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Taken together, it’s a bravura performance that led our selection committee (see p. 8) to name Sorenson Chief Executive’s 2019 CEO of the Year. In 2002 he joined our board. As Arne was learning the business, my son John continued to move up through the company. He was obviously very smart and articulate. Arne Sorenson became the CEO of Marriott International in March 2012. But as he moved from running hotels to working at headquarters, he seemed less happy. Marriott partners with Sun Line, becoming the first lodging company to enter the cruise business. These cookies do not store any personal information. I first met Arne Sorenson, who eventually succeeded me, in 1993. The culture here is much different from a law firm, where everyone has the same educational background and a lot in common. The worst news came on May 3, when the company announced Sorenson, 60, had been diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer and would soon begin treatment. In 2016, he led Marriott International’s $13.6-billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, catapulting the company’s total number of hotel rooms to more than 1.2 million. Marriott announced that their CEO Arne Sorenson has stage 2 pancreatic cancer.Pancreatic cancer is asymptomatic in the early stages so it’s incredible that it was caught at this point. During a meeting of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said everyone wearing facial coverings would provide confidence to visitors that the property is following all health and safety guidelines. HBR asked him to reflect back on the succession process. John just shook his head and laughed. Total shareholder return? So in 2005 John became vice chairman of the board and left his executive position at the company. I don’t recall thinking of us as rivals until a, Without Reservations: How a Family Root Beer Stand Grew Into a Global Hotel Company. Arne Sorenson was born in 1876, at birth place, to Arne Sorenson and Ellen Sorenson. He oversaw all our sales efforts as an executive vice president, and then he became president of North American Lodging, which gave him total responsibility for our largest business. As expected, Sorenson replaced him, becoming the first non-family member to head Marriott. He was preceded in death by his parents; his step-daughter, Mollie Page; his granddaughter, Cora Page and his brothers, Kåre Haugen and Arne Haugen, both of Norway. And if a family company chooses its first nonfamily CEO, that doesn’t necessarily mean no family member will serve as its top executive in the future. But he was a micromanager. 154 percent versus 60 percent for the S&P 500. My first real experience with him came on the day he prepared me for a deposition. Sorenson - evans nordby. Furthermore, our name is on the door, and that signals a level of personal accountability. Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said coronavirus 'is like nothing we've ever seen before' and is having a greater toll than World War II on the hotel industry, as he axed his salary to save the firm. Remember that I’m a reformed lawyer, so I came here without a deep knowledge of the lodging industry and without a clear career path. It is just one of many polling places across the country. He devoted his heart and soul to learning the business. ... More from Arne Sorenson. On a recent drive on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, my daughter and I passed this scene. I don’t recall thinking of us as rivals until a Wall Street Journalstory appeared that described us that way. By most measures, Sorenson has enjoyed extraordinary success. That’s not the way I’m built. Very different kinds of decisions, but every one fundamentally dependent on the right team around the table. A cyberhack that resulted in unauthorized access to hundreds of thousands of customers’ data—and acres of painful headlines? That would be disloyal. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. As I watched John adapt to this role, I could see that he wasn’t having much fun. We sat down with Sorenson in late May at the company’s headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, to hear more about how he takes on the turbulence—and maybe how the rest of us can do it better, too. “His presence among other CEOs and recognition among peers was a real standout. We all shop at Target, but who is Mr. Target? So that was a concern. The job gave him broader exposure to employees away from our headquarters—to general managers and frontline workers. What follows is edited for length and clarity: It starts with a great team. My wife and I had dinner with John and his wife recently, and I mentioned that I’d spent the day in a 10-hour management meeting. The directors became very supportive of him, and he performed well. The conversation around the table was robust, transparent—but not uniform. My youngest child, David, is just 39, and a phenomenal executive. John had worked here for 20 years before I arrived, and by that time he had a big job. I care too much about Marriott, which has been my life’s work, to make a risky choice. Key Benchmarks for Manufacturing Companies, Joe Biden And Leadership In Turbulent Times, Leading Through VUCA: CEOs Focus On Culture, CEO Summit: How To Foster Engagement And Produce Great Leaders, Post-Pandemic Crystal Ball Sees Covid’s Changes Continuing, Resilience 2021: ‘Adapt, Improvise And Overcome’, VUCA Leadership: A Guide To Surviving And Thriving In Chaotic Times, Sign Up to Receive Chief Executive Magazine, CEO Confidence Continues To Climb In January. He went on to work in nearly every part of the business over the next 30 years. But even though he’d spent years filing lawsuits and conducting cross-examinations, Arne has a broader background, as I came to learn. All this would be enough to tank even the toughest CEO. Every company develops some level of bureaucracy as it grows, and for a senior executive, managing that bureaucracy is an important part of the job. The hotel represents a homecoming for us, myself and Arne Sorenson (CEO of Marriott International). Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson has been diagnosed with stage two pancreatic cancer. He knows the business, and people love working for him. But gradually he realized that he had to make a different choice. Although the announcement, in December of 2011, was treated as big news because Marriotts had been in the top job for nearly 85 years, it wasn’t much of a surprise to people who knew the company. So, in that sense, there’s a similarity, but the decisions made in the cyber context, the ones that I felt closest to, were more philosophical. When I became the head of Marriott, in 1964, many people were surprised. I don’t necessarily believe that the experiences of other family companies are relevant here. In both circumstances, you’re bred first to listen. I was only 32 and had worked […]. He’s put himself on record advocating for infrastructure investment, tax reform, LGBT rights, immigration, diversity—and simple decency (political and otherwise). Daughter Pat grew up and married Arne Sorenson. I recognized that Arne had great potential, but he didn’t have any experience in the operations side of the hotel business. While I was leading the company, I often had several experienced nonfamily executives working with me. He writes here about meeting Arne Sorenson, hiring him, and grooming him to become the current CEO. All rights reserved. Customers, too, appreciate companies that have a human face, and that face is easier to see if it’s the face of a family member whose name is over the door. He remained based at our U.S. headquarters, in Bethesda, Maryland, but he spent one week every month visiting hotels in Europe, and he really began to understand the business from the bottom up. We get a cyber hack that surfaces in September. A memorial service will be held at noon, Saturday, Jan. 30, at Nash-Jackan Funeral Home in Bruce with Deacon Doug Sorenson … At the age of 32, Bill Marriott became the head of the company his father had built up from its beginnings as a root beer stand in 1927. I look at Ford Motor Company, which family members ran from its founding until 1979, when a series of nonfamily CEOs took over. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. If you believe the conventional wisdom about family businesses—that talented nonfamily executives won’t stick around, because they feel they have little chance of being promoted to the most senior jobs, which are reserved for family members—you’d think he would have been pretty excited about those opportunities. (An edited interview with Sorenson accompanies the article.) He currently oversees all our hotels in the eastern United States, from Maine to New Orleans. After the case wrapped up, Arne and I kept in touch. I don’t mean to sound immodest, but over the years I had inquiries from most of our global competitors about either their top job or a very senior job, and I never contemplated taking any of them. And to be clear, I still consider Marriott to be a family-led firm. Some of them, I think, require more of a singular decision, maybe, and some of them less. Sorenson isn’t missing his morning workouts, and said he … Not all my children were in the running to succeed me. Arne and John didn’t act like rivals, and I’m sure that if John had succeeded me, Arne would have given him a chance and stayed on in a senior role. But as time went on, I realized that it wasn’t the right fit—not for John, and not for Marriott. In all, John spent three decades at Marriott. That’s especially true in this disruptive era. Dan Bigman is Editor and Chief Content Officer of Chief Executive Group, publishers of Chief Executive, Corporate Board Member, ChiefExecutive.net, Boardmember.com and StrategicCFO360. In that job he presented to the board at every meeting. I didn’t want that. John had worked here for 20 years before I arrived, and by that time he had a big job. Arne lived in 1920, at address , … When I became the head of Marriott, in 1964, many people were surprised. Chief Executive’s publications are designed to help CEOs do their jobs better and run their businesses more effectively. But gradually he realized that he had to make a different choice. I was really impressed that he could explain something so complex in a way that anyone could understand. Marriott chief executive Arne Sorenson, who currently travels as many as 200 nights a year as part of his job, is likely to scale back in the coming months, a spokeswoman said. In 1998 our chief financial officer left, and although Arne wasn’t an obvious choice for that position, we moved him into it. If something had happened to me suddenly, those deputies would have been qualified to step in. Obituary david for o. Sorenson. During my decades as president and CEO, the company grew immensely: At the end of 2012 we had 3,800 properties in 73 countries and territories, and our revenue last year was $11.8 billion. I know that some of our lodging competitors tried to hire him for very senior roles. I worry that too many businesses today have become depersonalized. 1972. I don’t recall a conversation where anyone said “Arne, you have lousy people skills.” But I do recall a series of conversations I had with Bill and with other leaders about how important Marriott’s culture is to its success, and how this was something I needed to be aware of and supportive of. I believe there were people skills in his DNA, even if they weren’t immediately apparent. “The complexity and globality of his business—with a major acquisition—demonstrated his leadership,” said Bob Nardelli, CEO of XLR-8 and former CEO of Home Depot. There are a few reasons. “This issue has gotten far too politicized, which is a tragedy,” Sorenson said during the meeting. BETHESDA, MA—Addressing investors in a tense early morning teleconference call, Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson reportedly told investors Thursday that he’s had a pretty good first quarter just in terms of his personal life. The company still has deep family involvement, and hopefully will have continuing family involvement, so this isn’t a dramatic change. That leaves my son John, who is 52. That’s not all. “Marriott’s exceptional EPS growth track record in a rapidly changing sector is a testament to the leadership and strategic vision Mr. Sorenson has provided throughout his tenure,” said CEOY selection committee member Dan Glaser, CEO of Marsh & McLennan Companies. During those years, Arne was an attractive executive for other companies that needed new leadership. 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