A look at Marriott International CEO Bill Marriott

Posted on: March 22 2012
Q & A with Bill Marriott...
March 14, 2012, 2:03 a.m. CDT


NAME: J.W. "Bill" Marriott Jr.

AGE: 79. Born in Washington D.C. on March 25, 1932.

EDUCATION: Prep school at St. Albans in Washington D.C.; University of Utah, B.S. in banking and finance, 1954.

FAMILY: Married Donna Garff in 1955. They have four children, 15 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

PARENTS: John Willard Marriott and Alice Sheets Marriott. They founded the company in 1927 with a nine-stool root beer stand.

MILITARY EXPERIENCE: Served as a lieutenant in the Navy, USS Randolph, an aircraft carrier from 1954-56 overseeing everything from the barber shop to the retail store and eventually meals for the ship's officers.

CAREER: Joined father's restaurant chain, 1956 and oversaw the first hotel in 1957. Became president of Marriott in 1964 at the age of 32; CEO in 1972 and chairman of the board in 1985, following his father's death.

HOBBY: Collecting and driving sports cars.

THOUGHTS ON GOLF: "I played a little bit and said: This is too much time and too difficult and I don't have the patience for it."

TYPICAL DATE NIGHT WITH WIFE DONNA: Action movies and hamburgers from Five Guys. "I don't understand all the stuff that these celebrity chefs are putting on their menus."

BLOGGING: Marriott doesn't use a computer — he never learned to type — but with help from an assistant produces a blog, which he composes in long hand or by dictation.

MORALE BUILDING: He writes 200 personal notes to customers and another 300 to employees each year. "The two best words in the business are 'thank you.' I want to thank our people for going the extra mile. I want them to know that I've noticed."

2010 COMPENSATION: $9.6 million.

BOOK RECENTLY READ: "Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero" by Chris Matthews.

LAST MOVIE SEEN: "My Week with Marilyn."

FAVORITE HOTEL: JW Marriott Camelback Inn, Scottsdale, Ariz.