Marriott Announces Executive Changes

Arne M. Sorenson

By Thomas Heath

Marriott International today named chief financial officer Arne M. Sorenson as president and chief operating officer, placing him at the forefront of candidates to one day succeed chairman and chief executive J. W. "Bill" Marriott Jr.

Sorenson, 50, succeeds William J. Shaw, 63, who will become vice chairman of the company, an executive position reporting to the chairman.

Shaw will continue to serve on the board of directors.

As chief operating officer, Sorenson will be in charge of the day-to-day operations at the Bethesda-based hotelier, which has more than 3,000 properties around the world.

Bill Marriott, 76, shows no signs of slowing down. Marriott still spends much of his time on the road, inspecting properties and serving as the face of the company.

Sorenson joined Marriott in 1996 as senior vice president of business development. Prior to joining Marriott, Sorenson was a partner in the law firm of Latham & Watkins in the District.
Sorenson is a member of the board of directors of Wal-Mart.

Carl T. Berquist, 57, executive vice president financial information and enterprise risk management, will become executive vice president and chief financial officer, reporting to Shaw. Berquist will retain his role as the company's principal accounting officer.

John Marriott III, chief executive of JWM Family Enterprises, L.P., a private partnership, will continue to serve as vice chairman of the Marriott board.

By Dan Beyers  |  March 9, 2009; 2:53 PM ET  | Category:  Marriott International Corp.
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I find it very intriguing that Bill Marriott is still so active within the Marriott empire, and at 76.

Posted by: toskey | March 9, 2009 3:16 PM

Arne Sorenson has masterfully sidelined the Marriott boys. This move sidelines Dave Marriott, who had been groomed to succeed his dad Bill Marriott. Unfortunately, Dave Marriott messed up big time in New England when he was there (fiasco). Dave also did not impress anyone when they had him running Corporate Sales in Bethesda, they had him replaced by Stephanie Linnartz.

Posted by: cambridge-persisitence | March 9, 2009 8:30 PM

I think the writer above has Marriott boys confused ~ I think you are talking about John and not David….

Posted by: wuciwugt1 | March 10, 2009 10:39 AM

Having been with Marriott for over a decade, and watching the scandals that plague so many companies and their CEO's over the years, I can say it's a real pleasure to know our company is headed by a man with true intergriy and a genuine interest in his associates.

Posted by: lrthorne2998 | March 10, 2009 1:27 PM

Having worked for Marriott for 13 years until January 2007, I understand the "drink the kool-aid culture that totally pervades the company and is evident on this board.

No, I am not confused: John Marriott bowed out a while ago, Dave Marriott was supposed to be next in line, but he ain't too smart, alas.

The idea that Bill Marriott is a man of integrity and with a "genuine interest" in his employees is absurd, demonstrably untrue. The real interest he has is the interest he charges through the employees credit union.

The cult of Marriott is deeply creepy, takes years to shake, and creates a bubble corporate culture. Maybe Arne can shake some sense into that creepy company.

Posted by: cambridge-persisitence | March 10, 2009 3:35 PM

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