About a week ago, Arne Sorenson tragically passed away after battling pancreatic cancer. He was CEO of Marriott since 2012, only the company’s third CEO and the first CEO without the last name Marriott. As promised, the hotel giant has now announced its replacement.
Anthony Capuano named CEO of Marriott
The Marriott Board of Directors announced today that Anthony “Tony” Capuano has been named Marriott’s fourth Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective immediately. He will also join the company’s board of directors.
Capuano was previously Group President, Global Development, Design and Operations Services. Capuano is 54 years old and has been with Marriott since 1995. For some contexts of his career:
- He graduated from Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration in 1987
- He joined Marriott in 1995 on 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 responsibility for development efforts expanded to include North America, the Caribbean and Latin America
- In 2009, his responsibility for development efforts expanded worldwide
Anthony Capuano, new CEO of Marriott
What JW Marriott & Capuano are saying
JW Marriott, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, said the following about Capuano’s appointment as CEO:
“Tony has been instrumental in the growth of Marriott over the past decade. He will be an excellent leader as we continue to drive our growth strategy while managing the market momentum of the COVID-19 pandemic. Working thoughtfully and pragmatically with our owner and franchisee community, he has been steadfast in ensuring that Marriott delivers great operational performance and a better customer experience in our properties. Tony has a deep appreciation for the thousands of Marriott employees who ultimately deliver on our customer and brand promises, and I know he will make a great steward of our culture. Along with Stephanie as President and the rest of our extraordinary leadership team, Marriott couldn’t be in better hands. “
In the meantime, Capuano said the following about his new role:
“I’m honored to be named to take the helm of Marriott, but it’s a bittersweet moment. Arne has been a mentor, champion, and friend to every member of his close-knit leadership team. Because of Arne’s efforts, we are ready to move this transition forward. Together we will advance our strategy, which is focused on restoring, expanding, creating opportunity for our employees, maintaining constructive relationships with our owners and franchisees, delivering safe and innovative experiences for our guests and customers, and building value for our shareholders. “
My first impressions of the new Marriott CEO
Let me first say that I wish Capuano all the best in his new role. I had never heard of him before this announcement, so I cannot judge him personally, I can only leave the company he worked for and was responsible for.
A couple of things stand out:
- Unsurprisingly, Marriott selects someone who has been with the company for over 25 years because it’s a company that does a lot of advertising from the inside out. Personally, I wish we saw new leadership within the company, either from Starwood or from outside the company as a whole
- With this date I would expect that it will continue as usual and that Capuano will not rock the boat too much
- JW Marriott recognizes Capuano for providing “operational excellence and superior customer experience” through Marriott, which does not give me much hope as I personally would not describe the Marriott experience from the guest perspective that way
- Capuano’s career was all about global development; On the one hand, Marriott has developed into the largest hotel group in the world under his leadership in this area, on the other hand, I cannot describe the current brand muddle of Marriott as terribly inspiring
Anthony Capuano was named CEO of Marriott following the tragic death of Arne Sorenson. Capuano has been with Marriott for over 25 years and is responsible for global development.
With that choice, I’d expect Marriott to continue as normal, which in my opinion is more or less what we were all expecting, for better or for worse.
What do you think of Marriott’s new CEO election?