iOS app Android app

Bill Marriott
J.W. Marriott, Jr. is Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Marriott International, Inc., one of the world's largest lodging companies. He was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board for 40 years, before stepping down on March 31, 2012. His leadership spans nearly 60 years, and he has taken Marriott from a family restaurant business to a global lodging company with more than 3,700 properties in 73 countries and territories.

Known throughout the industry for his hands-on management style, Mr. Marriott has built a highly regarded culture that emphasizes the importance of Marriott’s people and recognizes the value they bring to the organization. Today, there are approximately 300,000 employees at the company’s headquarters and other offices, and at managed and franchised property locations.

Marriott International is also well known as a great place to work and for its commitment to diversity, social responsibility and community engagement. It has consistently been named to Fortune’s lists of most admired companies, best places to work and top companies for minorities.

At an early age, Mr. Marriott developed a passion for the business and worked in a variety of positions in the Hot Shoppes restaurant chain during his high school and college years. He joined the company full time in 1956 and soon afterward, took over management of Marriott’s first hotel. Mr. Marriott became executive vice president of the company, then its president, in 1964. He was elected chief executive officer in 1972 and chairman of the board in 1985.

Regarded as a lodging innovator, Mr. Marriott began 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.

Mr. Marriott has also worked to compile the greatest portfolio of lodging brands, ranging from limited service to luxury hotels and resorts. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands, including Marriott Hotels & Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, ExecuStay, Marriott Executive Apartments, Marriott Vacation Club, Grand Residences by Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club.

Mr. Marriott serves on the board of The J. Willard & Alice S. Marriott Foundation. He is a member of the National Business Council and the Executive Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council. Mr. Marriott has served on the Board of Trustees of the National Geographic Society, as director of the United States Naval Academy Foundation, chairman of the President’s Export Council (PEC) and a member of the Secure Borders Open Doors Advisory Committee (SBODAC) and the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB). He also recently served as chairman of the Mayo Clinic Capital Campaign.

Mr. Marriott attended St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., earned a B.S. degree in banking and finance from the University of Utah and served as an officer in the United States Navy. He is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. He is married to the former Donna Garff. They have four children, 15 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

Entries by Bill Marriott

Farewell to Murphy

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2014 | 10:52 AM


Our beloved golden retriever, Murphy, recently passed away. He had been a wonderful member of our family for 13 years.

Murphy was our third golden retriever. He brightened our lives with sweetness and goodness. The only thing he ever asked from us was...

Read Post

A Tale of Two Graduations

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 10:38 AM


I recently attended the graduation ceremonies at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Our grandson, Matthew, was receiving his masters in hotel administration. It was a great thrill to see him walk across the stage and receive his diploma.

Matthew is our...

Read Post

All You Need Is Love

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 2:28 PM


It seems that couples are everywhere in the summer months. Couples are walking in parks, in your local movie theater, and in your neighborhood restaurants. Most notably, couples are walking hand-in-hand from wedding ceremonies around the world. My own wedding anniversary is this...

Read Post

Success Is Never Final

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 9:43 AM


When my father was alive, we would often discuss the progress the company was achieving. With each great success, he would tell me to stop patting myself on the back and would remind me of one of his favorite sayings, "Success is never...

Read Post

Why You Should Hire a Vet

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 1:47 PM


Monday marked an important day in our nation's history, Memorial Day. While many of us grilled up some burgers and enjoyed the warm weather with our family and friends, this day honors the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice...

Read Post

Deciding to Decide

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2014 | 10:34 AM

Pictured above: Touring the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC due to open in a few weeks.

There are many things that I learned while growing up in my church. One was what former church presi­dent Spencer W. Kimball termed "deciding to decide."


Read Post

Take Me Out to the Baseball Academy

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 2:53 PM

The crack of the bat. The roar of the crowd. The smell of fresh popcorn and peanuts in the air. There's nothing quite like the excitement of opening day for baseball fans. So much potential and promise for your favorite team to make it all the way to the Fall...

Read Post

Dr. DeSanctis -- A Great Role Model for Me

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 6:15 PM

Dr. DeSanctis' Care Made a Lasting Impact on Me After My Boating Accident

A recent article in The Boston Globe was titled, "After six decades of devotion, the doctor is out."

In 1978 my father was admitted to Mass General Hospital in Boston after suffering several heart attacks at our...

Read Post

My 12 Rules for Success

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 9:40 AM


My father liked to say, "Success is never final." Before the paint dried on a brand new Hot Shoppes restaurant, he was already signing a deal for the next one. He had high expectations for his associates (especially me) and he...

Read Post

What Do You Think?

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2014 | 8:08 AM

2014-02-19-1954JrwithNavycap2.jpg Back in 1954, I came home from the U.S. Navy Supply Corps School for Christmas. My father was a good friend of Ezra Taft Benson who was at that time the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Somehow they finagled to get Eisenhower to come...

Read Post

Hire Friendly, Train Technical

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 1:02 PM


I recently had the pleasure of speaking at the University of Delaware's Hospitality School. They were a smart bunch of students, but more importantly, all of them smiled. That's the type of person we hire at Marriott. I always say it's...

Read Post

Rolling Out the Red Carpet

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 11:41 AM


Marriott associates really know how to roll out the red carpet. Whether the red carpet is for a valued guest or for a special visit from a royal couple, our associates know how to go above and beyond to ensure the...

Read Post

Tasting Success With Roy Rogers

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 9:59 AM


Each year Pete and Kathy Hubschmitt send me a beautiful calendar for the next year. It features wonderful photos of birds and animals that Pete has personally taken. He has spent his career in our hotels, retiring as an area vice president several...

Read Post

My Heart Attack Taught Me to Slow Down

(1) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 12:08 PM


The opening lyrics to the Simon and Garfunkel song "The 59th Street Bridge" have special resonance for me this holiday season. About this time of the year in 1989, I suffered a heart attack, not one, but three over the course of a...

Read Post

Ben Voogd: Navigating Amsterdam by Bike

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 1:11 PM


During my travels, I meet a lot of associates around the world. I'm often impressed not just by how well they serve our guests, but how much they love it. They take a lot of pride in being able to make...

Read Post

My 'Travel Turning Point'

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 7:45 AM


Everyone loves a photo contest. TownePlace Suites asked travelers to submit a photo and a caption that describes how a travel experience was a positive turning point in their lives. From stories of perseverance to tales about life-changing events, the entrants...

Read Post

Thanksgiving at Fairfield Farm

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 4:10 PM

Guests on horseback at Fairfield Farm.

For years, all during the 1940s, my father was searching for a place in the country where he could relive his early years, riding horses and tending sheep.

Finally, in 1950, he found his dream...

Read Post

Happy 95th Birthday to America's Pastor

(1) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 2:13 PM

Rev. Billy Graham, President Nixon and me; Dad and Rev. Graham

In November I travelled to Asheville, N.C. to help celebrate the 95th birthday of the Reverend Billy Graham. I was very honored to attend this significant event.

In 1976, the...

Read Post

My Mother, the Driving Force

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 4:10 PM

My Mom and me in 1936.

October 19th is my Mother's birthday. She was born in 1907 and would have been 106. She was truly an amazing woman. Her father passed away in 1919 from the flu epidemic following the First World...

Read Post

Bedtime Stories of Rattlesnakes, Coyotes, Mountain Lions

(1) Comments | Posted September 20, 2013 | 3:06 PM

2013-09-19-blogJWSrbirthdaytribute.gifSeptember 17th was my dad's birthday. He was born in 1900 so he would have been 113 years old this year. He passed away on August 13, 1985, 28 years ago.

He was an amazing man. He certainly overcame...

Read Post