J.W. Marriott Jr. has confirmed that he will retire as executive chairman of Marriott International's board of directors in May. The industry icon, known as "Bill" but more frequently referred to as "Mr. Marriott," has held leadership roles at the hotel company that bears his name for more than 60 years. The board has formally designated him chairman emeritus, to be effective immediately following May's 2022 annual meeting.
The hospitality company's board has also elected David S. Marriott to succeed his father as chairman of the board, effective immediately following the annual meeting.
J.W. Marriott Jr. helped guide the original family-run root beer stand and restaurant business into the empire it is today. He began working in hospitality while still a student in high school, and held various positions at the family's Hot Shoppes restaurant chain through his college years. Soon after becoming a full-time associate in 1956, he began overseeing the first Marriott hotel. By 1964 he was president of the company, and he held the title of CEO from 1972 until 2012, when he stepped down and Arne Sorenson was tapped to succeed him.
“On behalf of the board and the hundreds of thousands of people who wear a Marriott name badge around the world, I’d like to thank Mr. Marriott for his outstanding leadership throughout his tenure with the company," said current CEO Anthony Capuano. "He is truly an industry icon.
"I’d also like to congratulate David Marriott on being elected chairman of the board," Capuano contined. "Not only does he have tremendous operational experience from his career at Marriott, but hospitality is in his DNA. I look forward to working alongside him for years to come.”
David Marriott has been with the company since 1999 and was elected to the board of directors in 2021. Among his operational roles at the company, he was most recently president of the U.S. full-service managed-by-Marriott division, where he oversaw more than 330 hotels operating under 14 brands in 34 states. Prior to that he was COO of the Americas Eastern Region from 2010 to 2018.
Other Marriott International Board Changes
The hotel's board of directors has also elected Isabella D. Goren as a new board member. The former CFO of American Airlines and its parent AMR Corp., Goren will begin her tenure as an independent director on March 1. She has also been appointed to the board's audit committee. Goren currently serves on the board of directors of MassMutual Financial Group.
“Bella has a long history in the travel industry, and I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome her to Marriott’s board of directors,” said J.W. Marriott Jr. “Marriott will benefit from her valuable experience in finance, loyalty programs, customer service and management of complex international operations.”
Board member Lawrence W. Kellner, president of Emerald Creek Group LLC, the independent lead director of the board, and chair of the nominating and corporate governance committee, announced he will be stepping away from the board in May. Board member Frederick A. Henderson, former chair and CEO of SunCoke Energy, will succeed Kellner as lead director.