Marriott International names new CEO following death of Arne Sorenson

Marriott International has appointed a new chief executive officer after the death of former CEO Arne Sorenson last week.

Anthony “Tony” Capuano, who previously served as Marriot’s group president of global development, design and operations, will join the board of directors and immediately assume the title of CEO for the hotel and resort company, Marriott International announced Tuesday.

“I am honored to be appointed to take the helm of Marriott, but it is a bittersweet moment,” said Anthony ‘Tony’ Capuano, Marriott International’s new CEO.  (Marriott International)

Marriott executive Stephanie Linnartz, who along with Capuano had been tapped to oversee operations after Sorenson stepped back from his day-to-day duties in early February. Linnartz was formerly Marriott’s group president of consumer operations, technology and emerging businesses.

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“I am honored to be appointed to take the helm of Marriott, but it is a bittersweet moment,” said Capuano in a news release. “Arne was a mentor, a champion and a friend to each member of his close-knit leadership team. It is because of Arne’s efforts that we are prepared to move forward with this transition.”

J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., executive chairman of Marriott International, added that Capuano “played a critical role in Marriott’s growth” during his tenure as group president, which began in 2009. Since that time, Marriott International expanded its properties from “just over 3,200” to more than 7,600, according to the news release.

Upon the announcement of his appointment, Capuano also stated that he will remain “laser-focused” on recovering revenue and expanding the brand.

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Former CEO Arne Sorenson died on Feb. 15 amid a battle with pancreatic cancer, Marriott revealed last week. He was 62.

“While I have worked throughout my treatment to date and plan to remain as engaged in the business as my health allows, the right thing for me, my family and the company is to focus on my health,” Sorenson announced earlier this month. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

He became the CEO of the hospitality company in 2012, — the first CEO not bearing the Marriott surname — and helmed the company through its acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Sorenson had been with the company since 1996.

Initially diagnosed with cancer in May 2019, Sorenson only announced in early February of 2021 that he would “temporarily” reduce his schedule to undergo more aggressive treatment.

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“Arne was an exceptional executive – but more than that – he was an exceptional human being,” said Marriott Jr. upon learning of Sorenson’s death.

Matthew Kazin and Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.

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