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Marriott CEO Praised for 'Lesson' in Leadership

Arne Sorenson doesn't sugarcoat the bad news, still offers hope in video
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2020 8:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – The hotel industry is among the hardest hit in the coronavirus outbreak, with massive layoffs underway and growing fears that many hotels may never reopen. The world's largest hotel company, Marriott International, is no exception, as a video released last week by CEO Arne Sorenson makes clear. But Sorenson is winning widespread praise for the video itself and the way he is handling the crisis. Coverage:

  • Why so good? "This is what leadership looks like" is one typical response on Twitter, writes Carmine Gallo at Forbes. And Gallo, who advises CEOs on how to handle crises, agrees. He "was candid, vulnerable, humble, emotional and hopeful." In fact, every leader in business and beyond should watch the video and learn, writes Jason Aten at Inc. His headline refers to a "lesson in leading."
  • Two things: Start with the 61-year-old's appearance, which he refers to as his "new bald look" after cancer treatments. He noted that some advisers didn't think he should appear in a video as a result. In rejecting that advice, he "demonstrates vulnerability and humility, two qualities that connect human beings to one another," writes Gallo. Then there is his announcement that he will forgo his salary for the rest of the year, a sign of "shared sacrifice."

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