Marriott Names New CEO and President After Sorenson’s Death
Marriott International on Tuesday began the painstaking effort of moving on from the death of company legend Arne Sorenson, naming Anthony “Tony” Capuano and Stephanie Linnartz. Both internal promotions are effective immediately.
Capuano was previously group president of Global Development, Design and Operations Services. During Capuano’s time in that role, Marriott grew from more than 3,200 properties in early 2009 to more 7,600 properties by 2020’s end.
He joined Marriott in 1995, and in 1997 began leasing development efforts in the Western U.S. and Canada. In 2005, Capuano became senior vice president of full-service development for North America, and his duties expanded to the Caribbean and Latin America in 2008.
“Tony has played a critical role in Marriott’s growth over the last decade,” said J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., Marriott executive chairman and chairman of the board, in a statement. “He will be a terrific leader as we continue to advance our growth strategy while also navigating the market dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Marriott is the world’s largest hotel brand, with a portfolio consisting of more than 7,600 properties under 30 brands across 133 countries and territories. Capuano enters at a time of great transition, not simply for Marriott but the entire industry. Travel is significantly down while the world awaits the full distribution of coronavirus vaccines while trying to contain variant strains.
Hotels, airlines, cruise lines and other hospitality and tourism stakeholders are implementing new safety protocols and creating marketing campaigns to reignite the thirst to travel. Many hotels remain short-staffed compared to where they were a year ago at this time.
From a meetings and events perspective, Marriott—like all major brands—is expanding its offerings to accommodate hybrid experiences
“I am honored to be appointed to take the helm of Marriott, but it is a bittersweet moment,” said Capuano. “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.”
He continued, “Together, we will advance the strategy we have in place, which is laser-focused on recovery, expansion, providing opportunities for our associates, maintaining constructive relationships with our owners and franchisees, delivering safe and innovative experiences for our guests and customers, and building value for our shareholders.”
As Marriott president, Linnartz will be responsible for developing and executing all aspects of the company’s global consumer strategy, including brand, marketing, sales, revenue management, customer engagement, digital, information technology, emerging businesses and loyalty strategies. Among her main duties are the strategic growth of Marriott’s brands and leading sustainability efforts, as well as the continued merging technology and hospitality.
Previously, Linnartz, 52, was group president of consumer operations, technology and emerging businesses, where she was responsible for brand, marketing, sales, revenue management, customer engagement, digital, information technology, emerging businesses and loyalty strategies. She played an important role during the 2016 acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, overseeing the integration of business-critical systems including reservations, property management, revenue management and loyalty.
Under her watch, the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program launched in 2019 and has 147 million global members. Linnartz began her Marriott career in 1997, and served as global chief commercial officer from 2013 to 2019 before her promotion to group president.
“Every member of the leadership team feels a profound sense of loss at Arne’s passing. He was not just a friend and a leader for us, he was a guidepost for the hospitality industry,” said Linnartz. “The best way we can honor Arne’s memory is to continue to move the company forward. It is my privilege to take on the role of President and to work with Tony and the rest of the executive team to ensure a seamless transition and to successfully execute our strategy."