Marriott names Anthony Capuano as new CEO

Feb 23, 2021

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The world’s largest hotel company, with more than 7,600 properties and more than 1.4 million rooms, has named its new CEO. On Tuesday, Marriott announced that it’s appointed Anthony “Tony” Capuano as CEO, effective immediately.

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Capuano becomes only the fourth CEO in the company’s history. He was named as a replacement for Arne Sorenson who died Feb. 15, 2021, after a battle with cancer.

Marriott’s Anthony Capuano. (Photo courtesy Marriott)

Tony Capuano had been group president of global development, design and operations services overseeing the company’s U.S. and Canada lodging division and finance.

Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Marriott International J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., said of Capuano’s appointment:

“Tony has played a critical role in Marriott’s growth over the last decade. He will be a terrific leader as we continue to advance our growth strategy while also navigating the market dynamics of the COVID-19 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.”

According to the company, “Mr. Capuano began his career at Marriott in 1995 as part of the Market Planning and Feasibility team. Between 1997 and 2005, he led Marriott’s full service development efforts in the Western United States and Canada. In 2008, his responsibilities expanded to include North America, the Caribbean and Latin America. In 2009, he assumed global development responsibility.”

Also on Tuesday, Marriott announced that Stephanie Linnartz, previously the group president, consumer operations, technology and emerging businesses has been appointed as president, effective immediately.

Marriott reported Q4 earnings of 12 cents a share on Feb. 18, beating analysts’ expectations and giving a glimpse of a possible rebound in 2021 after several tough quarters for the company. Still, the hospitality company profits fell 60% from the same quarter last year. The company had a net loss for both the last quarter and the full year.

“I am honored to be appointed to take the helm of Marriott, but it is a bittersweet moment,” Capuano said in a statement. “Arne was a mentor, a champion and a friend to each member of his close-knit 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.”

In her new role, Linnartz will be responsible for developing and executing the brand’s global consumer strategy.

Linnartz said, “Looking ahead to the rest of 2021, booking windows remain very short and there is still a large amount of uncertainty. While vaccines are slowly rolling out, the pace is too uncertain to be able to predict when occupancy will move meaningfully higher. But as the year progresses, assuming wider distribution of effective vaccines, we are optimistic that the pace of recovery will pick up speed and accelerate throughout the year.”

Arne Sorenson was diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer in 2019.

Related: Remembering Arne Sorenson

Sorenson had been the CEO of Marriott since 2012 and was the only person outside of the Marriott family to lead the company until now. He oversaw the acquisition and merger of Starwood to create the combined Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain.

As the new CEO, Capuano will help finalize the Starwood integration, oversee growth in the all-inclusive and home rental divisions, win over a new generation of travelers who don’t love big chain hotels, and win back the trust of road warriors who remain unsold on the Bonvoy loyalty program.

This is breaking news story, and will be updated.

Additional reporting by Scott Mayerowitz and Emily McNutt.

Featured photo by The Washington Post/Getty Images.

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