Arne Sorensen, CEO of Marriott, Dies at 63 After Fight with Pancreatic Cancer

By Kurt Stolz on 16 February 2021
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Arne Sorensen, president and CEO of Marriott International, died on Monday at the age of 63 after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Mr. Sorensen, who was only the third CEO of what is now the world’s largest hotel chain, was born in Tokyo, Japan, on October 13, 1958. He became CEO in 2012 after serving as the company’s chief operating officer for many years.  Prior to joining Marriott, he practiced law in Washington, D.C. at the firm Latham and Watkins.

Calling him an “exceptional executive” and “exceptional human being,” Marriott’s chairman J.W. Marriott noted that Mr. Sorensen “loved every aspect of this business.”

“He had an uncanny ability to anticipate where the hospitality industry was headed and position Marriott for growth,” Mr. Marriott added.

In May of 2019, the hotel chain announced that Mr. Sorensen had a treatable form of stage two pancreatic cancer and was receiving treatment at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He had surgery for pancreatic cancer in November 2019 and continued in his position as CEO, later completing radiation treatment and other forms of treatment after the surgery.

“The cancer was discovered early,” Mr. Sorensen said in a message to Marriott employees at the time. “It does not appear to have spread and the medical team – and I – are confident that we can realistically aim for a complete cure.”

Earlier this month, Marriott said that Mr. Sorensen would temporarily reduce his schedule to undergo more demanding treatment.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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