Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is an American multinational diversified hospitality company that manages and franchises a broad portfolio of hotels and related lodging facilities. Founded by J. Willard Marriott, the company is now led by his son, Executive Chairman Bill Marriott, and President and Chief Executive Officer Arne Sorenson.Marriott International is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. It has more than 6,500 properties in 127 countries and territories around the world, over 1.2 million rooms (as of September 2017), and an additional 195,000 rooms in the development pipeline.In 2017, Marriott was ranked #33 on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, its twentieth appearance on the list.
Marriott was founded by John Willard Marriott in 1927 when he and his wife, Alice Sheets Marriott, opened a root beer stand in Washington, D.C. As a Mormon missionary in the humid summers in Washington, D.C, Marriott was convinced that what residents of the city needed was a place to get a cool drink. The Marriotts later expanded their enterprise into a chain of Hot Shoppes restaurants and the company went public in 1953 as Hot Shoppes, Inc.The company opened its first hotel, the Twin Bridges Marriott Motor Hotel, in Arlington, Virginia, in 1957. Their second hotel, the Key Bridge Marriott in the Rosslyn neighborhood of the same city, is Marriott International’s longest continuously operating hotel, and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009. Their son, J.W. (Bill) Marriott, Jr., led the company to spectacular worldwide growth during his more than 50-year career. In March 2012, at age 80, he turned the CEO responsibilities over to Arne Sorenson, while he assumed the title of Executive Chairman.
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