After nearly 60 years working for the family firm, Bill Marriott is to step down as chief executive of Marriott International.
He is to be replaced by Arne Sorenson on 31 March 2012, when he will assume the role of executive chairman. Sorenson, who joined Marriott International in 1996, has been the company's chief financial officer and, since 2009, president and chief operating officer.
Marriott, 79, whose parents in 1927 founded the company which now has 3,700 hotels and more than 633,000 rooms worldwide, announced his decision via his blog.
"As executive chairman, I will continue to share my many years of experience with our senior management team as we pursue future growth," he explained. "My energies will also be directed at reinforcing the timeless core values that have been the bedrock of our success. I still plan on visiting a lot of our hotels and continuing to be a company ambassador as we build opportunity throughout the world.
"Arne knows the business, lives our core values and has the respect and admiration of all of the company's major stakeholders. I have the utmost confidence in Arne as I hand over the day-to-day reins of the business to him.
Marriott also announced the promotion of the company's group president, Bob McCarthy, to chief operations officer.
Marriott International currently operates 55 hotels with 11,066 rooms in the UK.
By Janet Harmer
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