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Marriott Redux

March 11, 2009 By: David Eisen


Arne Sorenson (that's him on the right) looks to please his boss J.W. Marriott, Jr. (older guy on the left with the red tie) as the hotel industry slugs forward.

Marriott is doing a little reshuffling of the deck, hoping to make its flush in this darkened economic time. On May 1, William Shaw, who is currently president and COO, will become vice chairman of the company, replaced by longtime Marriott man Arne Sorenson, previously executive vice president, CFO and president, continental European lodging. His truncated title is sure to make him happy, even in this dire hotel operating environment.

There's one more: Carl Berquist, executive vice president financial information and enterprise risk management, will become executive vice president and chief financial officer (easier title to explain at dinner parties). 

"The steps we are taking today are important and will put Marriott in the strongest position for a successful future," hoped Marriott's main man J.W. Marriott, Jr. otherwise known as chairman of the board and CEO. "In these unprecedented times, the company is fortunate to have extraordinary executives who will expand our industry leadership and drive long term opportunity."

Sorenson joined Marriott in 1996, and in 1997 led the acquisition of the Renaissance Hotels and Resorts brand. He was named CFO in 1998. In 2003, Mr. Sorenson assumed responsibility for continental European lodging, where he has managed operations across more than 100 hotels and spearheaded the launch of the Courtyard brand there.


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