Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson dies at 62

Marriott Chief Executive Arne Sorenson, who grew the company into the world’s largest hotel chain and steered it through a global pandemic that has been catastrophic in the travel industry in the past year, has died,  the hotel giant said Tuesday. He was 62.

Sorenson stepped away from his management role earlier this month to pursue a more aggressive cancer treatment. He was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2019.

J.W. Marriott Jr., the company’s executive chairman, said Sorenson loved every aspect of the hotel business and relished traveling and meeting employees around the world.

“Arne was an exceptional executive – but more than that – he was an exceptional human being,” said Marriott said in a prepared statement Tuesday.

Sorenson was the first Marriott CEO whose name was not Marriott, and only the third to lead the company in its 93-year history.

Sorenson joined the Bethesda, Maryland, company in 1996, leaving behind a partnership in a Washington law firm where he specialized in mergers and acquisitions. He rose to president and chief operating officer before he was named CEO in 2012.

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