J.W. Marriott Jr., also known as Bill in the hospitality industry circles, will retire from the position of the executive chairman of Marriott International. Bill Marriott, 89, has led the Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott, for more than 60 years. When he retires, he will become chairman emeritus, and his son David S. Marriott will succeed him as chairman.
Mr. Marriott’s retirement as chairman was first announced in 2020, will take effect immediately following the company’s shareholder meeting in May, at which point David Marriott will take over as chairman.
In 1927, Bill Marriott’s father, John Willard Marriott, started a nine-stool drinks stand in Washington, D.C. Bill Marriott began working for the firm while still in high school and was hired full-time in 1956. He then managed operations at the hotelier’s first property, the Twin Bridges Marriott, an Arlington, Virginia motel that debuted in 1957.
David Marriot joined the firm in 1999 and will be a member of the board of directors in 2021. Today, Marriott manages almost 8,000 hotels in 139 countries and territories under 30 distinct brands.
“David is well-suited to serve on our board and I know he will bring not only his operations and sales experience but also his deep understanding of Marriott’s culture to board-level conversation and decision-making,” said then CEO Arne Sorenson at the time of his appointment.