J.W. Marriott, Jr. is Chairman Emeritus of Marriott International, Inc. Mr. Marriott was Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board before retiring in May of 2022. Mr. Marriott’s leadership spanned more than 60 years, as he guided what was once a family-run root beer stand and restaurant to a global hospitality company that is today comprised of nearly 8,200 properties across 30 brands in 138 countries and territories. Mr. Marriott served 40 years as Marriott’s Chief Executive Officer before stepping down on March 31, 2012.
Mr. Marriott’s passion for the hospitality industry began at an early age. He spent his high school and college years working in a variety of positions in the family’s Hot Shoppes restaurant chain. He became a full-time associate in 1956, and soon afterward began overseeing the first Marriott hotel. He became President of the company in 1964 and Chief Executive Officer in 1972. He was elected Chairman of the Board in 1985.
Throughout his career, Mr. Marriott has been known industry-wide for his hands-on management style, which is built on his parents’ core value of putting people first. The Marriott corporate culture emphasizes the value that associates bring to the organization.
Mr. Marriott is known as a lodging innovator – shifting the company’s business model in the late 1970s from hotel ownership to property management and franchising. His strategic decision allowed the company to accelerate its growth and broaden its leadership position. That transformation culminated in the company’s split in 1993 into Marriott International – a hotel management and franchising company headed by Mr. Marriott – and Host Marriott International, a hotel ownership company chaired by his brother, Richard Marriott.
In January 2007, Marriott on the Move, one of the first regular corporate CEO blogs was launched. Mr. Marriott’s award-winning blog extended his global reach and influence that complemented his well-known visits to hundreds of hotels annually before his retirement.
Mr. Marriott serves on the board of trustees of The J. Willard & Alice S. Marriott Foundation. He is a former member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council, and has served on the Board of Trustees of the National Geographic Society and as a director of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation. Previously, Mr. Marriott was chairman of the President’s Export Council and served on the board of General Motors, Georgetown University, and the Mayo Clinic.
Mr. Marriott grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, where he attended St. Albans School. At the University of Utah, he earned a bachelor’s degree in banking and finance, and went on to serve as an officer in the United States Navy. Mr. Marriott is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is married to the former Donna Garff. They are the parents of four children and have 15 grandchildren as well as 31 great-grandchildren.