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Marriott CEO Passes Torch of Bethesda-based Headquarters

A pioneer of the hotel industry, J.W. Marriott Jr. will step down March 31.

After J.W. Marriott Jr. turns 80 this month, he plans on turning over the family business—the multi-billion-dollar Marriott empire of luxury, family and business travel headquartered in Bethesda—to a well-known 'outsider.'

Arne Sorenson will be the third chief executive officer the company has had since 1927, and the first not to carry the family's name, according to Marriott's website. He moves up from his position as chief operating officer.

The company began as a nine-stool root beer stand in Washington, DC, run by John Willard Marriott and his wife, Alice Sheets, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. They opened their first hotel in 1957.

“We started out with one hotel and it wasn't doing well, so I asked my dad if he'd let me take over the supervision,” J.W. Marriott Jr. said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Read the full story on sfgate.com.

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