Bill Marriott on Stepping Down as CEO

The chairman and CEO of Marriott International on his decision to step aside, and why his successor won’t be one of his children
Illustration by Jimmy Turrell

In our family, we talk business all the time. When I was a little boy, my father used to take me with him to Hot Shoppes, the chain he started. We’d inspect the restaurants together and buy a bunch of hamburgers to taste. I joined straight after getting out of the Navy and had been in the company about six months when we opened our first hotel. It wasn’t doing very well, so I asked my dad if I could run it. He said, “You don’t know anything about the hotel business.” I said, “Well, neither does anyone else around this place,” so he let me supervise it. I was made president in 1964. I’d been more or less running the company by the time I became CEO in 1972. I was 40 years old.

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