Marriott International has announced that president and chief executive Arne Sorenson will be temporarily stepping back to undergo more demanding cancer treatment, with an interim management structure put in place to oversee day-to-day operations.
The hotel group announced in May 2019 that Sorenson had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was beginning treatment.
Sorenson, who will remain in his role, is expected to step back from full-time oversight of the company for several months. During this time, he will stay involved in directing the company to the extent practical and will remain a member of the board of directors.
In consultation with the board, two Marriott executives have been appointed to share responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day operations of Marriott's business units and corporate functions during this period, in addition to maintaining their current responsibilities.
Stephanie Linnartz, group president of consumer operations, technology and emerging businesses, will oversee the company's international lodging division, as well as legal, human resources and communications and public affairs.
Tony Capuano, group president of global development, design and operations services, will oversee the company's US and Canada lodging division and finance.
Sorenson said: "Since my diagnosis, I've been working with a great medical team at Johns Hopkins to treat this cancer. 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 to do for me, my family and the company is to focus on my health. I know Stephanie and Tony will work with Marriott's strong executive team to continue to move the company forward. I, along with my family and my medical team, remain optimistic about my prognosis and I plan to return full-time after the conclusion of my treatments."
JW Marriott Jr, executive chairman and chairman of the board, said: "Arne has the full support of the board and the executive team as he takes this time to focus on his health, and our prayers are with him for a speedy recovery. Arne has built an excellent executive team. I have every confidence in Stephanie and Tony and the entire leadership team to continue to implement our strategy and to not miss a beat running day-to-day operations."