Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson '83 Passes Away  

February 16, 2021

Marriott International President and CEO Arne M. Sorenson ‘83 passed away yesterday.

Sorenson, who had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer, was 62.

Sorenson was the third CEO in Marriott’s history in 2012, and the first without the Marriott surname. A visionary leader, Sorenson put Marriott on a strong growth trajectory that included the $13-billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Known for his leadership on difficult national and global issues, Sorenson steered Marriott to make significant progress on diversity, equity and inclusion, environmental sustainability and human trafficking awareness, the company said in a release announcing his death.

“We have lost one of the University of Minnesota Law School’s most distinguished alumni and a great friend,” said Garry W. Jenkins, dean and William S. Pattee Professor of Law. “Arne Sorenson was a brilliant, lawyer-leader who embodied the very best of Minnesota Law; not only was he a national leader in the hospitality industry, but he was an engaged civic leader as well. He has been an important Law School advocate and supporter, and it was an honor to have his partnership. Our hearts go out to the Sorenson family during this difficult time.”

Sorenson was the Law School’s 2018 commencement speaker. 

“Friendships are more important than money, career success, fame, and even good nutrition in fostering health and happiness,” Sorenson told the newly minted grads in his address. “It takes time and commitment. … But if you are looking for happiness, you won’t regret a minute that you spend on it.”

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Arne Sorenson ’83
Arne Sorenson ’83

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