After more than 60 years of leadership, Marriott International Executive Chairman, J.W. Marriott, Jr, has announced his retirement.

The 89-year-old told the Board of Directors that he will not stand for re-election at the Annual Meeting of Stockholders in May.

J.W. Marriott, Jr was formally designated Chairman Emeritus in recognition of his leadership and significant contributions to the company.

He will pass the baton to his son David S. Marriott, who was elected as Chairman by the Board.

“On behalf of the board and the hundreds of thousands of people who wear a Marriott name badge around the world, I’d like to thank Mr. Marriott for his outstanding leadership throughout his tenure with the company. He is truly an industry icon,” said Marriott International Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Capuano.

“I’d also like to congratulate David Marriott on being elected Chairman of the Board. Not only does he have tremendous operational experience from his career at Marriott, but hospitality is in his DNA. I look forward to working alongside him for years to come.”

The late Arne Sorenson and J.W. Marriott, Jr.

Lasting legacy

J.W. Marriott, Jr has dedicated much of his life to the business, which started out as a family-run root beer stand and restaurant and today is a global hospitality business with close to 8,000 properties across 30 brands in 139 countries and territories. He became a full-time associate in 1956, President of the company in 1964 and Chief Executive Officer in 1972, a role he held for 40 years. He was elected Chairman of the Board in 1985.

David Marriott joined Marriott International in 1999 and was elected as a director in 2021. He has held a number of operational roles within the business including, most recently, as President, U.S. Full Service Managed by Marriott, where he was responsible for oversight of more than 330 hotels operating under 14 brands in 34 states.

Marriott Board changes

On Monday, the Board also announced Isabella “Bella” Goren, former chief financial officer at American Airlines, and its parent, AMR Corp., as an independent director of the company, effective March 1, 2022.

She was also appointed to the Board’s Audit Committee and will be included in the list of nominees for election at the company’s 2022 Annual Meeting.

Lawrence Kellner, who has served on the Board for nearly 20 years and has as independent lead director and chair of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee since 2013, announced that he will not stand for re-election at the 2022 Annual Meeting.

Frederick “Fritz” Henderson was appointed to succeed Kellner as lead director of the Board, effective immediately.