Marriott leaders positioned to build on Sorenson legacy

Both Marriott veterans, Anthony Capuano was named CEO and Stephanie Linnartz was named president earlier this month.
Both Marriott veterans, Anthony Capuano was named CEO and Stephanie Linnartz was named president earlier this month.

Taking the reins early in the pandemic recovery period, Marriott International's Anthony Capuano, who was named the company's CEO in late February, undoubtedly faces a bumpy road ahead.

Capuano succeeds Arne Sorenson, who died on Feb. 15 after a nearly two-year battle with cancer.

Despite the challenging landscape, however, industry insiders say they believe Capuano, who has been with Marriott since 1995, is very likely to successfully build on Sorenson's legacy of company expansion.

"We believe that the steady leadership culture [that Sorenson] created means that many see Marriott well positioned to continue pressing forward with his colleagues at the helm," wrote Chad Beynon, Jordan Bender and Aaron Lee, analysts for the investment banking firm Macquarie, in a recent research note. They added that the company is already "seeing signs of rebounding demand."

Capuano won't be navigating the comeback on his own. He is joined at the helm by Stephanie Linnartz, who has concurrently been named Marriott's president.

In her role, Linnartz will oversee the company's global consumer strategy, including brand, marketing, sales, revenue management, customer engagement, digital, information technology, emerging businesses and loyalty strategies, in addition to overseeing Marriott's global development organization and other duties.

Prior to being named CEO, Capuano served as Marriott's group president for global development, design and operations services. He began his career with the company as part of the group's market planning and feasibility team, then led Marriott's full-service development efforts in the western U.S. and Canada in 1997.

In 2005, he was named senior vice president of full-service development for North America, later adding oversight of the U.S. and Canada as well as the Caribbean and Latin America to his purview in 2008. He became executive vice president and global chief development officer in 2009.

Before becoming president, Linnartz was Marriott's group president for consumer operations, technology and emerging businesses.

A member of the Marriott team since 1997, Linnartz has held a variety of roles throughout her tenure at the company, serving as senior vice president for sales and marketing planning and support from 2005 to 2008, senior vice president of global sales in 2008 and 2009, global officer for sales and revenue management between 2009 and 2013 and global chief commercial officer from 2013 to 2019. 

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