Marriott CEO Reduces Schedule Due To Pancreatic Cancer Treatments

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Marriott made a statement about its CEO, Mr. Arne Sorenson’s health, back in May 2019 (read more here), announcing that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Mr. Sorenson reduces his schedule, and Marriott is putting an interim management structure in place to run day-to-day operations while its CEO deals with the health issue. The five-year survival rate of pancreatic cancer is low but better if caught early..

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Here’s the announcement from Marriott:

Company Puts in Place Interim Management Structure to Oversee Day-to-Day Operations

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) today announced that president and CEO Arne Sorenson will be temporarily reducing his schedule to facilitate more demanding treatment for pancreatic cancer. In May 2019, the company announced that Mr. Sorenson, 62, had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was beginning treatment.

Mr. Sorenson, who will remain Marriott’s president and CEO, is expected to step back from full-time oversight of the company for several months. During this time, he will stay involved in directing the company to the extent practical and will remain a member of the board of directors. In consultation with Marriott’s board, Mr. Sorenson has tapped two veteran Marriott executives to share the responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day operations of Marriott’s business units and corporate functions during this period, in addition to maintaining their current responsibilities.

Stephanie Linnartz, Group President, Consumer Operations, Technology and Emerging Businesses, will oversee the company’s International lodging division, as well as Legal, Human Resources and Communications & Public Affairs. Tony Capuano, Group President, Global Development, Design and Operations Services, will oversee the company’s U.S. and Canada lodging division and Finance. Ms. Linnartz, 52, and Mr. Capuano, 55, are long-time members of the Marriott leadership team, having joined the company in 1997 and 1995, respectively.

“Since my diagnosis, I’ve been working with a great medical team at Johns Hopkins to treat this cancer,” said Mr. Sorenson. “While I have worked throughout my treatment to date and plan to remain as engaged in the business as my health allows, the right thing to do for me, my family and the company is to focus on my health. I know Stephanie and Tony will work with Marriott’s strong executive team to continue to move the company forward. I, along with my family and my medical team, remain optimistic about my prognosis and I plan to return full-time after the conclusion of my treatments.”

“Arne has the full support of the board and the executive team as he takes this time to focus on his health, and our prayers are with him for a speedy recovery,” said Mr. J.W. Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board. “Arne has built an excellent executive team. I have every confidence in Stephanie and Tony and the entire leadership team to continue to implement our strategy and to not miss a beat running day-to-day operations.”

Pancreatic cancer survival rate per John Hopkins:

Five-Year Survival Rate

Compared with many other cancers, the combined five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer—the percentage of all patients who are living five years after diagnosis—is very low at just 5 to 10 percent. This is because far more people are diagnosed as stage IV when the disease has metastasized.

Here’s the announcement Marriott made in 2019:

Marriott Statement on Health of Arne Sorenson

Conclusion

We wish Mr. Sorenson the very best and a speedy recovery.

However, the outcomes of pancreatic cancer are not very good, although they have gotten better in recent years due to advanced treatments.

Marriott’s responsibility as a public company, responsible to its shareholders, is to prepare for all possible scenarios.

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