Marriott unveils new CEO and president

by | 08 Mar 2021 | Portfolio

Hotel giant Marriott International has appointed Anthony Capuano as CEO and Stephanie Linnartz as president following the unexpected passing of former boss Arne Sorenson.

High-profile industry figures Anthony Capuano and Stephanie Linnartz will help steer Marriott International through the Covid19 pandemic and beyond.

Marriott’s new leadership team

Marriott has been boosted by the news that Anthony ‘Tony’ Capuano and Stephanie Linnartz have agreed to take on the roles of CEO and president respectively. These appointments follow the untimely passing of Marriott president and CEO Arne Sorenson on 15 February 2021.

“Tony has played a critical role in Marriott’s growth over the last decade,” said JW ‘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 Covid19 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.”

A CEO with decades of experience

In his prior role as group president, global development, design and operations services, Capuano was responsible for leading global design and development efforts while overseeing Marriott’s global operations discipline. During his tenure, the company grew from just over 3,200 properties to over 7,600.

Under Capuano, the group’s development pipeline grew to 498,000 rooms as of the end of 2020, over half of which are outside the US. On top of this, he led the creation of Marriott’s Commitment to Clean initiative, set up in response to the global health crisis.

The new CEO first joined Marriott in 1995 as part of the market planning and feasibility team. He went on to lead Marriott’s full-service development efforts in the Western US and Canada between 1997 and 2005, before serving as senior vice president of full-service development for North America until 2008 when his responsibilities expanded to include all of the US and Canada as well as the Caribbean and Latin America. In 2009, he became executive vice president and global chief development officer.

Capuano’s also an active member of the Cornell Hotel Society, a member of The Cornell School of Hotel Administration Dean’s Advisory Board and a member of the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s Industry Real Estate Financial Advisory Council.

“I am honoured to be appointed to take the helm of Marriott, but it is a bittersweet moment,” he reflected. “Arne was a mentor, a champion and a friend to each member of his closeknit 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.”

A president with an exceptional track record

In her new role as president, Linnartz will lead the development and execution of all aspects of the company’s global consumer strategy, from brand, marketing, sales and revenue management to customer engagement, digital, information technology, emerging businesses and loyalty strategies.

Linnartz will now oversee Marriott’s global development organisation responsible for the strategic growth of its 30 brands, along with global design and operations services functions. She will also tackle topics like the intersection of technology and hospitality, environmental sustainability and continued growth of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty platform.

In her prior role as group president, consumer operations, technology and emerging businesses, Linnartz was responsible for brand, marketing, sales, revenue management, customer engagement, digital, information technology, emerging businesses and loyalty strategies. In this position, she played a pivotal role during Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. In 2019, the company combined the Marriott and Starwood loyalty programmes to create Marriott Bonvoy under her leadership.

The new president began her Marriott career in 1997 within the finance and business development department, before serving as global chief commercial officer between 2013 and 2019, and global officer, sales and revenue management from 2009 to 2013. She also worked as senior vice president, global sales from 2008 to 2009 and senior vice president, sales and marketing planning and support from 2005 to 2008.

“Every member of the leadership team feels a profound sense of loss at Arne’s passing,” she said. “He was not just a friend and a leader for us, he was a guidepost for the hospitality industry. 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.”

A ringing endorsement from the Marriott family

“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,” explained JW Marriott, Jr. “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.”

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Marriott International is based in Bethesda, Maryland and encompasses a portfolio of more than 7,000 properties around the world.

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