Marriott CEO to reduce schedule amid pancreatic cancer treatment

The president and CEO of Marriott International will be “temporarily reducing his schedule” as he undergoes “more demanding treatment” for pancreatic cancer, the company said in a news release published Tuesday. Arne Sorenson, who was diagnosed with the illness in May 2019, “is expected to step back from full-time oversight of the company for several months.”

In the interim, Stephanie Linnartz, group president, consumer operations, technology and emerging businesses and Tony Capuano, group president, global development, design and operations services, will split the duties of day-to-day operations.

“Since my diagnosis, I’ve been working with a great medical team at Johns Hopkins to treat this cancer,” Sorenson said, in a statement. “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 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 to continue to move the company forward. I, alone 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.”

Sorenson, 62, had revealed in 2019 that the cancer was diagnosed as stage 2. A year later, he told Bloomberg TV’s “Leadership Live with David Rubenstein” that the news had come “totally out of the blue.”

“I had no health conditions before that,” he told the outlet at the time. “And since May 2019 until today, I had been wrestling with this battle.”

He revealed that he had been undergoing chemo, radiation, and immunotherapy and had surgery. It is not clear what his current treatment entails.

J.W. Marriott Jr., executive chairman and chairman of the board, said Sorenson has the “full support of the board and the executive team.” Marriott said he has “every confidence” in Linnartz and Capuano’s ability to “not miss a beat” in running day-to-day operations in Sorenson’s absence.

Sorenson has been with the company since 1996 and was made chief executive officer in 2012.