Craig Smith to succeed Dave Grissen as Marriott’s Americas group president [Construction Report]

by | 03 Jun 2020 | News

(Photo: Marriott)

Dave Grissen will step down from his position as Group President, the Americas at Marriott International in early 2021.

Like all major hospitality groups, Marriott is busy adapting to the new post-Covid19 landscape as best it can. However, it has now emerged that the Maryland-headquartered hotel giant is also having to prepare for life after Dave Grissen, Group President, the Americas, who has announced his intention to leave the company, paving the way for a wider corporate reshuffle. We find out more.

Grissen to bid Marriott farewell

Grissen will step down from his position as Group President, the Americas, towards the end of 2020, ahead of retiring from the company altogether in the first quarter of 2021. Marriott’s President and CEO Arne Sorenson was quick to lead the tributes to one of its most high-profile figures.

“It’s hard for me to picture a Marriott without Dave Grissen, someone who has been such an integral part of this company for so long,” said Sorenson. “Dave is the consummate strategist with the mind of an operator. He is as equally skilled at driving successful implementation as he is at looking over the horizon to identify that next, new idea.

“Perhaps his most important legacy is the work he has done to champion leadership training and the impact that had developing new leaders and driving performance at our hotels across the region. We will certainly miss Dave, but I know that the next phase of his life will be as dynamic and meaningful as his extraordinary tenure here at Marriott.”

Grissen will have been with Marriott for 36 years when he eventually retires. As Group President, the Americas, he is responsible for Marriott’s biggest region, the Americas, which grew from 2,928 to 5,640 hotels under his leadership, with another 1,800 in the pipeline. During his almost four decades at Marriott, the industry stalwart has held various roles, including Senior Vice President of Finance and Business Development, Senior Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Region, Executive Vice President of the Eastern Region, President of the Americas and Group President with responsibility for the Americas division and company-wide areas such as Global Operations.

Marriott execs to step into new roles

Meanwhile, Marriott has already revealed plans to restructure the senior team after Grissen steps down. Craig S. Smith will take on the role of Group President, International, having most recently spent 2.5 years leading the company’s CALA region. And Liam Brown, currently Group President, EMEA, will take the reins as Group President, North America.

“Dave and I started talking about his potential retirement last year, and we knew we would need time to prepare for transition,” said Sorenson. “Dave will be fully engaged with us until he steps out of his current role, which allows us to begin the work necessary to be able to fill the void he will leave.

“The changes we are making will help define a new era for our organization – one that will accelerate our global aspirations. We are lucky to have such a deep executive bench to draw from – both Craig and Liam are superbly talented and will bring tremendous experience to these roles.”

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