Chief Executive magazine announced today that Arne M. Sorenson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International, has been named 2019 Chief Executive of the Year by his peer CEOs.
"He's a global leader, a man with a conscience, a person who connects with his people," said Fred Hassan, the former Chairman of Bausch & Lomb and Partner at Warburg Pincus, and a member of this year's selection committee.
"I have tremendous respect for Arne Sorenson, for his global leadership and for his outstanding track record amid a very challenging marketplace," said Marillyn A. Hewson, the Chairman, President and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation and 2018 CEO of the Year, who also served on the selection committee.
Mr. Sorenson joined Marriott in 1996 and held a number of positions before serving as President and Chief Operating Officer. He became Chief Executive Officer in 2012, the first person to hold the post without the Marriott family name.
Since becoming CEO, Mr. Sorenson has led a vast expansion of the business, including the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in 2016. The company now has more than 7,000 properties across 130 countries and territories and 30 brands. An outspoken corporate leader, he has advocated for environmental sustainability, a more open, safe and inclusive workplace, and a welcoming culture around the world.
"I am deeply honored by this tremendous recognition, and I thank my peer CEOs for the nomination," said Mr. Sorenson. "I stand on the shoulders of an icon, Bill Marriott, and the 730,000 people around the world who wear a Marriott name badge. Together, we work each day to uphold a legacy of creating opportunities—for our guests, our associates and the local neighborhoods where we operate."
The selection committee cited Sorenson's outstanding performance running one of the most complex, global businesses in the world in the face of daunting cultural and technological change.
"There are few people who have driven innovation in the way that Arne has and…been able to lead such a large organization, and to be able to keep them focused on excellent execution and also the responsibilities that they have for each other, the environment and on social issues," said Neal Keating, President and CEO, Kaman.
Over the past 33 years, Chief Executive of the Year winners have been a who's who of American business leadership, including Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Michael Dell, A.G. Lafley, John Chambers, Bob Iger, Anne Mulcahy, Larry Bossidy, Andy Grove and Herb Kelleher, among others.
The Chief Executive of the Year was selected by a committee of distinguished peer CEOs in a meeting held in March at the Nasdaq MarketSite. The 2019 committee consists of Marillyn A. Hewson (Chairman, President and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation), Dan Glaser (President and CEO, Marsh & McLennan), Neal Keating (President and CEO, Kaman), Fred Hassan (former Chairman, Bausch & Lomb; Partner, Warburg Pincus), Tamara Lundgren (President and CEO, Schnitzer Steel), Max H. Mitchell (President and CEO, Crane Co.), Bob Nardelli (CEO, XLR-8), Tom Quinlan III (Chairman, President and CEO, LSC Communications), Jeffrey Sonnenfeld (CEO, The Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute) and Mark Weinberger (Global Chairman and CEO, EY Global). Ted Bililies, Ph.D., Chief Talent Officer, Managing Director, AlixPartners, is the exclusive advisor to the 2019 Selection Committee.
Sorenson's selection as 2019 CEO of the Year will be celebrated at an invitation-only event hosted by Chief Executive Group at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York in late July.