This post is in memory of Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson. He passed away on Monday February 21, 2021 at the age of 62. Sorenson’s death is yet another heartbreaking loss of someone due to pancreatic cancer. And for me, a lucky PC survivor, a new reminder of how deadly pancreatic cancer can be. Furthermore, PC may strike no matter one’s level of fame or lot in life.
Due to the author’s personal experience, more than 40 of our nearly 240 posts on cancer deal with some aspect of pancreatic cancer. We have sought to offer advice, discuss the main issues surrounding pancreatic cancer, and highlight some of the prominent people who have died from PC. Unfortunately, that list is quite lengthy.
Another Victim of PC: In Memory of Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson
To learn more about Arne Sorenson, we turned to the excellent Wall Street Journal article by James R. Hagerty. Here are some highlights:
Marriott International Inc. Chief Executive Arne Sorenson created the world’s largest hotel operator by acquiring Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. in 2016. A Lutheran missionary’s son who was born in Japan and grew up in Minnesota, he became CEO of Marriott in 2012. As such, he was the first person outside the founding family to head the hotel company. He was diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer in May 2019. But continued to serve as CEO.
The $13 billion acquisition of Starwood created a colossus with 30 brands. Including Ritz-Carlton, Courtyard, W Hotels, Westin, and Sheraton. And operations in more than 110 countries. Marriott prevailed over rival bidders including Hyatt Hotels Corp. and China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co.
Sorenson served on the board of Microsoft Corp. and was a trustee at the Brookings Institution. He also was a Special Olympics board member. He saw a link between his faith and humility. “I think there is a bit about (religious) faith that keeps us in our place, which prevents us somehow from thinking that we are uniquely gifted, that we deserve credit for so many things that happen,” he said.