Marriott CEO Sorenson: “(Program Merger) Little Bit More Bumpy Than We Anticipated”

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Marriott CEO Sorenson has been on a tour in the Middle East and had opened up about losing the former Starwood flagship properties to Hilton in Dubai (read more here) and the state of program merger.

Marriott CEO SPG Bumpy

This is the same CEO that called SPG members (read more here) rabid (too fanatical about their program) and most recently asked members to stick around while they try to stabilize the platform (read more here).

You can access Marriott here.

Here’s an excerpt from Gulf News (access their piece here):

One of the biggest points of discussion to emerge out of the $13 billion acquisition by Marriott of rival Starwood Hotels and Resorts has been the merging of loyalty programmes.

Earlier this year, David Flueck, Marriott’s senior vice president for global loyalty, said that bringing the technology together had been “a very challenging undertaking.”

Responding to this, Sorenson said that while Marriott “knew it would be complicated, it was probably a little bit more bumpy than we anticipated … and the bulk of the chatter has really been around that.”

But more importantly, he said, was how Marriott had done with the substance of the rules.

“By and large I think we’ve navigated that pretty well,” Sorenson said.

“Among 110 to 115 million loyalty members, there’ll be some noise around the edges.”

Here are issues that we have covered that I don’t believe are just “noise around the edges”:

Conclusion

You have to bear in mind that when they talk about 110 to 115 million program members perhaps 85% to 90% of those don’t even stay or are active within the program in any given year and thus not even affected by this mess they created.

Most impacted are the higher value (Marriott words not mine) SPG members whose accounts were converted to Marriott’s unstable platform on August 18, 2018 when the system simple was neither ready nor properly tested. Numerous problems have lingered ever since.

The program were mostly on the right track until the mess that took place on August 18, 2018. Marriott should have known better and have competent team in place to lead this project.

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