MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT and CEO Arne Sorenson will stay on the job despite a recent diagnosis of cancer. He expects a full recovery.
In a message to employees last week, 60-year-old Sorenson said he had been diagnosed with at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore stage 2 pancreatic cancer. He will begin chemotherapy this week and his doctors anticipate surgery near the end of the year.
“The cancer was discovered early. It does not appear to have spread and the medical team – and I – are confident that we can realistically aim for a complete cure,” Sorenson said. “In the meantime, I intend to continue working at the company I love. Let me make one request, look ahead with me. We have great work underway at Marriott. I am as excited by what we can accomplish together as I have ever been.”
Sorenson has been with Marriott since 1996 and served as president and chief operating officer before becoming CEO in 2012. He was the first person outside the Marriott family to hold the position, according to his company profile.
He oversaw the company’s acquisition of acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in September 2016. In March he testified before the U.S. Senate Homeland Security & Government Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations regarding massive data breach that arose from the old Starwood reservation system.
The breach compromised the passport and credit card information for about 383 million former Marriott guests. The company has taken numerous steps to help those affected by the breach and to increase its security.
“We are focused on identity access management, which means a broader deployment of two-factor authentication across our systems, as well as network segmentation, which means isolating the most valuable data so that it becomes more difficult for attackers to access the systems and for malware to spread through the environment,” Sorenson said. “We know that this is a race that has no finish line. Cyber-attacks are a pervasive threat.”