J. W. Marriott Jr. is Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Marriott International, Inc., the largest hospitality company in the world. Mr. Marriott’s leadership spans more than 60 years, as he guided what was once a family-run root beer stand and restaurant to a global hospitality company.
In September 2016, Marriott acquired Starwood Hotels and Resorts bringing the company to more than 6,500 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 127 countries and territories. Mr. Marriott served 44 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 afterwards began managing 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.
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 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 served 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 and 20 great-grandchildren.