Following the unexpected passing of Marriott’s President & CEO Arne Sorenson on February 15, the company has announced the appointment of two people to the fill the positions he held.
Marriott International’s Board of Directors have announced that Tony Capuano has been appointed Chief Executive Officer and has joined the company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. He was previously Group President, Global Development, Design and Operations Services. The Board of Directors also announced that Stephanie Linnartz, previously Group President, Consumer Operations, Technology and Emerging Businesses, has been appointed President, effective immediately.
“Tony has played a critical role in Marriott’s growth over the last decade,” said J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, Marriott International. “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. He works thoughtfully and pragmatically with our owner and franchisee community and has been steadfast in ensuring Marriott delivers operational excellence and elevated customer experiences at our properties. Tony has a deep appreciation for Marriott’s thousands of associates who ultimately deliver on our customer and brand promise and I know he will be a superb steward of our culture. Together with Stephanie in the role of President, and the rest of our exceptional leadership team, Marriott could not be in better hands,” Mr Marriott said.
“I am honoured 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. 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.”
In his previous role as Group President, Global Development, Design and Operations Services, Capuano was responsible for leading global development and design efforts and overseeing the company’s Global Operations discipline. During Mr Capuano’s tenure leading global development, the company grew its footprint from just over 3,200 properties in early 2009 to over 7,600 properties by year-end 2020. In addition, Mr. Capuano has overseen the growth and globalisation of Marriott’s development pipeline to 498,000 rooms as of December 31, 2020, with more than half of the pipeline representing projects outside of the US.
Stephanie Linnartz takes on President role
As President, Ms 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. In addition, Ms Linnartz will oversee Marriott’s global development organisation, which is responsible for the strategic growth of the company’s 30 lodging brands, as well as the global design and operations services functions. Ms Linnartz will also spearhead the company’s progress on issues including the intersection of technology and hospitality, the continued growth of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty platform, the excellence of our brand portfolio, and environmental sustainability.
“Stephanie has a leadership track record and clear vision for how our core lodging business, travel platform initiatives and loyalty strategies can work together to accelerate growth,” said Mr. Marriott. “Her deep experience across our business will enable her to work seamlessly with our owners and franchisees, innovate for our guests and customers, and champion new opportunities for our associates. Tony and Stephanie are exactly the CEO and President we need as we continue to push forward towards recovery and growth in the years ahead.”
“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 Ms. Linnartz. “The best way we can honour 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.”
Prior to this appointment, Ms Linnartz, 52, was Group President, 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. Ms Linnartz played a pivotal role during Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, overseeing the integration of business-critical systems including reservations, property management, revenue management and loyalty. In 2019, under her leadership, the company combined the Marriott and Starwood loyalty programs to create the world’s largest hospitality loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, which currently has more than 147 million global members.