Marriott undertakes senior leadership reshuffle

Marriott’s chief financial officer, Leeny Oberg, has added executive vice president, development to her role.
Marriott International has reorganised its structure with a series of executive appointments designed to tap its talented leadership bench and accelerate the company’s growth.

The changes start at the top, with CEO, Anthony ‘Tony’ Capuano also taking on the hotel group’s president function after the previous incumbent, Stephanie Linnartz, stepped down to become CEO of sportswear brand, Under Armour.

Development head

The existing chief financial officer, Leeny Oberg, will now lead Marriott’s global development organisation, which is responsible for the strategic growth of the company’s 30 lodging brands.

Oberg’s new title is chief financial officer and executive vice president, development. Capuano commented: “Leeny has a passion for investing in the growth of our business and will be a powerful advocate for our portfolio of brands – building on the accelerating pace of development activity we enjoyed in 2022 as global recovery continues.”

Luxury leader

Elsewhere, veteran brand leader, Tina Edmundson, has been appointed president, luxury, a role that underscores Marriott’s commitment to the growth and leadership of its preeminent luxury brand portfolio.

Edmundson is a brand leader with over 25 years of experience. Marriott’s luxury brands include a portfolio of nearly 500 properties that encompasses: The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, Edition, The Luxury Collection, JW Marriott and W Hotels Worldwide. The company has parlayed its strength in luxury hospitality to enter adjacent spaces like the launch of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection as well as its growing global footprint of luxury residential properties. 

Capuano said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, it is clear guests want aspirational experiences. When it comes to luxury travellers, we are focused on the entirety of the experience – making it differentiated, elevated and memorable. Tina is a recognised leader in experiential luxury and lifestyle travel – there is no one better to grow our leadership position in this space and to be a steward of this unmatched portfolio.”

China chief

The company also welcomed back Yibing Mao, a 24-year Marriott veteran. She has been appointed president, Greater China.

A native of Beijing who calls Hong Kong home, Mao joined Marriott in 1996. She held positions of increasing responsibility during her tenure with the company and before she stepped down in 2020, held the position of senior vice president and chief legal counsel, Asia Pacific. 

Capuano noted: “I am delighted that Yibing is returning to Marriott in the role of president of Greater China, one of our fastest growing regions. During her time with the company, she led Marriott’s efforts to develop a strong profile in Asia, and forge substantive and collaborative relationships with owners and key internal and external stakeholders. Yibing is exactly who we need to lead the next chapter of growth for Marriott in Greater China.”

Tech titan

Furthermore, Marriott has appointed Drew Pinto, a nearly 20-year company veteran, to the role of executive vice president and chief revenue and technology officer, reporting to Capuano. Pinto will lead sales, revenue management, distribution channels, digital, and information technology for Marriott. 

Capuano detailed: “These global platforms are critical to Marriott’s continued growth and profitability and Drew is the ideal leader to innovate and scale these capabilities.”

Brand evolution

In addition, the company revealed that long-time Marriott executive Peggy Fang Roe has become executive vice president and chief customer officer, reporting to Capuano. Roe will be responsible for developing and executing key aspects of the company’s global consumer strategy, including evolving its portfolio of brands, the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty programme, and developing the end-to-end customer experience using data, AI, and innovation to fuel future growth. 

Capuano said: “Peggy, who will celebrate her 20th anniversary with the company next year, has a passion for understanding consumer behaviour and creating compelling experiences. She has held a wide range of roles across our organisation and has a strong track record for innovation and driving performance, which will be tremendously important in her new role.”

Reshaped team

Marriott also announced that Craig S. Smith, group president, international, retired in February after a 35-year career with the company.

Capuano summed up: “The size and scale of our company is significant, and we expect it to be even more so given the exciting opportunities ahead of us. With the recent announcement of two executive departures, I am reshaping my team to ensure we can be nimble and effective in driving strategies to benefit our customers, associates and owners and franchisees around the world.”

Reporting structure

With strong momentum and a pipeline of about 280,000 hotel rooms outside the US, Marriott believes its international growth opportunity is significant.

Under the company’s new structure, Marriott’s continent presidents will all report directly to Capuano: Satya Anand, president, Europe, Middle East and Africa; Brian King, president, Caribbean and Latin America; Raj Menon, president, Asia Pacific excluding China; and Yibing Mao, president, Greater China. Liam Brown, group president, US and Canada, will continue to report to Capuano.