BETHESDA, Md. — Marriott International’s Board of Directors has appointed Anthony “Tony” Capuano as the company’s Chief Executive Officer and Stephanie Linnartz as its president, effective immediately. Capuano has also joined the company’s Board.
The appointments follow the unexpected passing of Marriott president and CEO Arne Sorenson on February 15, 2021.
“Tony has played a critical role in Marriott’s growth over the last decade,” says J.W. “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 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.”
“I am honored to be appointed to take the helm of Marriott, but it is a bittersweet moment,” says Capuano. “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.”
Prior to this appointment, Capuano, 55, was group president, Global Development, Design and Operations Services. In this role, he was responsible for leading global development and design efforts and overseeing the company’s global-operations discipline. During his tenure, the company grew its footprint from more than 3,200 properties in early 2009 to more than 7,600 properties by year-end 2020. In addition, Capuano has overseen the tremendous growth and globalization of Marriott’s development pipeline to 498,000 rooms as of December 31, 2020, with more than half of the pipeline representing projects outside of the U.S. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Capuano has led Marriott’s work on its Commitment-to-Clean initiative, which was designed to enhance Marriott’s cleaning protocols to provide additional peace of mind for travellers.
As president, Linnartz will be responsible for developing and executing all aspects of the company’s global consumer strategy, including brand, marketing, sales, revenue-management, customer-engagement, digital, information-technology, emerging-businesses and loyalty strategies. In addition, she will oversee Marriott’s global-development organization, which is responsible for the strategic growth of the company’s 30 lodging brands, as well as the global design and operations-services functions. Linnartz will also spearhead the company’s progress on issues including the intersection of technology and hospitality, the continued growth of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty platform and environmental sustainability.
Prior to this appointment, Linnartz, 52, was group president, Consumer Operations, Technology and Emerging Businesses, where played a pivotal role during Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, overseeing the integration of business-critical systems, including reservations, property management, revenue management and loyalty. In 2019, under her leadership, the company combined the Marriott and Starwood loyalty programs to create the world’s largest hospitality-loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, which currently has more than 147-million global members.
“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,” says Marriott. “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.”
“Every member of the leadership team feels a profound sense of loss at Arne’s passing. He was not just a friend and a leader for us, he was a guidepost for the hospitality industry,” says Linnartz. “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.”