Video: In Jan. interview, Arne Sorenson shared his thoughts on recovery

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Video: In Jan. interview, Arne Sorenson shared his thoughts on recovery

Just weeks before his death on Monday at the age of 62, Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson spoke at an ALIS Winter Update virtual conference eve

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Just weeks before his death on Monday at the age of 62, Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson spoke at an ALIS Winter Update virtual conference event on Jan. 25.

Sorenson touched on his post-pandemic recovery outlook, the importance of school and office reopenings and the divided U.S. political landscape, among many other topics.

In response to questions from Hotel News Now editorial director Stephanie Ricca, Sorenson expressed some cautious optimism around the timing of travel’s rebound.

“In some respects, we know that the tides are turning or will turn, because of the vaccines on the horizon,” he said. “But we’re still, in many respects, within the eye of the storm. We don’t know whether [recovery starts] a couple months from now or six months from now.”

When asked how the pandemic had changed him as a leader, Sorenson said he had learned two major lessons throughout the crisis. 

“I remain a work in process, and hopefully will be until the day I’m gone,” he told the event audience. “One of the things I learned this year is a reminder of something I’ve been learning all my life, which is the essential need to delegate. 

“The second lesson, I would say, is all about transparency, particularly in a difficult environment. You’ve got to share with your team all around the world, what is it you’re thinking? Why are you making the decisions you’re making? Why are they the right decisions to be made? And make sure that you are explaining yourself in a way that causes people to know that you’re thinking about them even as you’re making the tough decisions.” 

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