Marriott CEO Diagnosed With Pancreatic Cancer

Filed Under: Marriott

Marriott has today issued a statement regarding the health of Arne Sorenson, who is the President & CEO of the company. On Wednesday 60 year old Sorenson was diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer.

Per the statement from Marriott:

Sorenson, 60, received the diagnosis from a medical team at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore after a series of tests. Sorenson will remain in his role while undergoing treatment.

In a message to Marriott International associates, Sorenson noted: “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. 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’s treatment plan will begin next week with chemotherapy. His doctors anticipate surgery near year end 2019.

Here’s to hoping for a full and quick treatment and recovery for Sorenson. Good health eclipses everything, and situations like this really put into perspective what really matters.

  1. I’m sure someone will donate a pancreas in exchange 10mm points , which is legal since they claim no value

  2. You’re above this Ben. I wish you’d take it down. Imagine if Arne put on his blog “Leading travel blogger has pancreatic cancer”

  3. I’m shocked by some of the comments. This is a blog about travel and the CEO of the worlds largest hotel company having cancer is news. It was also put out as a news release by the company so Ben has every right to put this up here and report on it. If every media outlet is reporting on this so can this blog.
    As a former Marriott Associate the turn he took the company after Bill stepped down is one of the reasons why I left. As a cancer survivor myself, I wish him only the best and hope for a complete recovery.

  4. Sad. Times like this when we reflect and realize even if we don’t agree with the business decisions, at the end of the day he’s doing what he thinks is best for Marriot, himself, and his family.

    Maybe time for an uplifting post after this – Air Horse One?!

  5. @Bernardo “Why is this news?”

    Why are you so stupid?

    When the CEO of a Fortune 500 company gets sick it is ALWAYS NEWS. It can impact operations as well as share price, and not disclosing this sort of thing can land a board of directors in deep trouble with investors.

  6. @ tim — I respect your opinion and am sorry that’s how it came across, but it wasn’t my intention. As far as I’m concerned this is big news, as others have commented. He’s the CEO of the world’s largest hotel group, and the company put out a statement about this. My intention was simply to share that and wish him well in this journey.

    Furthermore, virtually every major news outlet, even beyond the travel industry, is covering this.

  7. Pancreatic cancer is a tough one, so I hope he does okay. Only a quarter of those diagnosed live more than a year and the five-year survival rate is only 9%. My dad and my wife’s dad both died of pancreatic cancer. I hope Arne does well–it’s rarely diagnosed early.

  8. This is absolutely news, both to shareholders and observers (like us). That this has to be defended is really disturbing. The short, correct response is that we wish him a full and speedy recovery. The cynical arrogance of some people is really too much.

  9. @Ben – But I’ve always considered you to be above “virtually every news outlet”. Was just hoping you’d use better discretion than your colleagues that have chosen to report it. If I were diagnosed with a terminal illness, I would sure want some privacy to deal with it with just my family

  10. @Time – if Arne didn’t want people to know, he wouldn’t have issued an international press release about it. Come on. Ben may be a blogger, but this is news, and he is right to cover it, and has done so in a way more empathetic and tasteful than a typical journalist would.

    I wish Arne all the best. Pancreatic cancer is no joke and any human enduring it deserves respect and an outpouring of support.

  11. Seriously, whats the problem with Ben covering this? I know it’s probably not the kind of article you come to this blog for, but that doesn’t make it a bad thing to post this news and wish Arne a speedy recovery. After all, that’s what really matters in the end.

  12. @tim – if he wanted some privacy to deal with it, perhaps he shouldn’t have authorised the company he is the CEO of to issue a press release about his condition.

    To use your analogy, this would be like Arne reporting on his blog that “One Mile At A Time issues press release that chief blogger has pancreatic cancer.”

    If you ever suffer from this virulent form of cancer, make sure you don’t issue a press release about the fact, and you may save posters on various sites which pick up press release content from expressing faux outrage at your condition being reported.

  13. Full respect to Arne for going public with this. It was his choice to do it. As a cancer survivor myself I know what a difficult decision it is to share such a diagnosis.

    Pancreatic cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to treat, with low single digit 5 year survival rates. Its what Steve Jobs died from.

    As with all cancers, if its detected early at stage I or II​ there is a much better chance of survival.

    I carried on working after my diagnosis as it gave me a focus to take my mind off the disease. I suspect Arne is doing the same.

    Good luck to him and his family!

    Peace and compassion everyone, running the world’s biggest hotel company is a big enough job already, without having to deal with such an sinister mutation attacking your body.

  14. My heart goes out to him, his family and the people around him who care about him. I’ve never had cancer. But my 31-year-old son just got word today that his stage 4 classic Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is officially in remission. The last 6 months of his treatment have been tough on our whole family. Pancreatic cancer has much tougher odds.

    Thanks for letting us know, Ben.

  15. This is big (and sad) news.

    But did he have a choice in revealing it?
    He’s the CEO. This is material information
    I’m not sure he could have stayed on and not revealed his condition

    I also wish him the best. But this is a tough one.

    To those of you blasting Ben…
    This is pertinent to miles and this blog
    The likelihood of a change in management in the next 12 months is sky high.

  16. Ben, what is the difference between the callous/heartless commenters above and trolls like Debit? I hope you learn to draw the line between opinion and the lack of decency.

  17. He has managed his company so poorly that he should quit his job. Nothing works well at Marriott, from the phone customer service agents, to the front office staff at the many different Marriott brands I have started at, to the people who takes care of their accounting and their software website that even basic functionalities sometimes don’t work.

  18. It sure seems like the comments became more toxic after the new blog commenting policy. Don’t know why.

  19. Incredibly insensible disturbing comments, seem like many deeply perturbed immature folks.

    Pancreatic cancer is sadly one of the deadliest fastest one, lost my Grandma by this and it was quick.

    I really hope he can recover.

  20. I agree with BBK. There have been some incredibly insensitive and downright nasty comments about this. I despair that fellow humankind can think and act this way. My heartfelt best wishes to Arne and his family.

  21. @KeepingItReal

    Your logic is just so wrong. Just because a CEO of a Fortune 500 gets sick does NOT mean operations will get impacted. By definition these massive corporations are bigger than any one person, no matter if they’re the head. By your logic; Boeing should suffer 25% stock devaluation just because its CEO has the flu; or American Express stops issuing cards until its CEO recovers from a broken leg. Do you get it now? Look at Apple. After Steve Jobs passed on the company is still going strong, because no matter how high profile or charismatic a company head may be, ultimately a corporation is bigger than the person. And don’t call other comments stupid. You just show who the REAL stupid one is!

  22. I give all the best wishes to Arne for a full recovery, with or without him back at Marriott.


    Stay away from the stock market and let others handle those investments. It’s for your own good.

    Yes your Steve Jobs is a good example. The question is not Apple is still going strong without Jobs, but would it have been stronger? So go figure yourself what will happen, as history has shown, if you put Steve Jobs back into the equation.

    And I quote you “And don’t call other comments stupid. You just show who the REAL stupid one is!”

  23. @eskimo

    Oh dear, oh dear….. Jokes on you, my friend. I retired from active work before my 36th birthday exactly because I risked investing in aussie and PNG mining shares (thank you Oil Search Ltd!). Greetings from near Eratap beach, which has far better weather than my dreary old hometown Melbourne. No sarcasm here. I genuinely wish you well in your investments and life.

  24. Shaun, a public company like Marriott has a duty to its shareholders to disclose a serious illness of its CEO…particularly given that 1/4 of PC patients don’t survive even one year. Presumably, Marriott has a board-approved succession plan in place and that in the event of the worst case scenario they could move forward without too much trouble. But if Sorensen passed away in six months and they hadn’t disclosed his PC, I’m sure there would be a shareholder lawsuit.

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