Industry Update
External Article21 July 2021

Marriott’s new CEO sat down with TPG to talk Bonvoy benefits, hot breakfast and more

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Long before he was interested in hotels, Anthony “Tony” Capuano wanted to be a fighter pilot.


Capuano obtained a congressional nomination to the U.S. Naval Academy, but his eyesight wasn’t good enough to fly.

Then, his father’s carpool buddy — who happened to be the head lobbyist for the American Hotel and Lodging Association — suggested he look at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. That hadn’t even been a consideration.

“I was an insolent, little kid and I said: Yeah, that’s fine. But we went up there and I fell in love with it,” Capuano recalled the other day. “So I stumbled into it, but thank goodness.”

Today, Capuano, 55, finds himself at the helm of the world’s largest hotel chain as major industrialized nations emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and others desperately wait for vaccines.

He was appointed to lead the company in February, following the death of long-time CEO Arne M. Sorenson from pancreatic cancer at age 62.

Marriott’s headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, is one of those places where folks work for decades. Long before it was popular for Fortune 500 companies to speak about “families,” the folks at Marriott did.

Capuano’s rise couldn’t come at a more challenging time. Staff members were working remotely. Many were furloughed. And the hotel industry was coming out of the worst year in its history.

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