Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive of Marriott International has been diagnosed with stage two pancreatic cancer.
Sorenson, 60, received the news at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on Wednesday, having undergone a series of tests. He will remain in his role, as the head of one of the world’s largest hotel companies with more than 7,000 properties across 30 brands, while undergoing treatment.
In a message to colleagues within Marriott International, Sorenson said: “The cancer was discovered early. It does not appear to have spread and the medical team – and I – are confident that we can realistically aim for a complete cure.
“In the meantime, I intend to continue working at the company I love. Let me make one request, look ahead with me. We have great work underway at Marriott. I am as excited by what we can accomplish together as I have ever been.”
Sorenson will start chemotherapy treatment next week. His doctors anticipate that surgery will take place at the end of the year.
Sorensen joined Marriott in 1996 from his previous position as a partner with a law firm in Washington DC. He worked his way through the company until he was appointed chief executive in 2012, becoming the first person outside the Marriott family to hold the position.
In 2016 Sorensen led the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, resulting in a dramatic expansion of the Marriott portfolio to create the hotel industry’s largest customer-loyalty programme, comprising nearly 125 million members.
Early this year Marriott announced plans to open a further 1,700 hotels around the world by 2021 as part of its three-year growth plan.