John Willard “Bill” Marriott Jr. is the executive chairman of Marriott International, which he expanded from his father’s Hot Shoppe restaurants. He has served as Chairman of the Board since 1985. He is also Chair of the Executive Committee.
He worked for his father’s Hot Shoppe business at an early age. After joining his father’s business full time in 1956, he pushed his father to expand his restaurant business to include hotels. The first hotel opened in January 1957 in Arlington, Virginia. The Marriott Corporation was created in 1967, and in 1993, the corporation split into two companies, Marriott International and Host Marriott Corporation.
Although his father was reluctant and often fought against Bill’s plans for expansion, Bill was elected executive vice president and member of the board of directors in 1964. He became president of the company in 1964, CEO in 1972, and chairman of the board in 1985. He stepped down from his role as CEO in March 2012 and became executive chairman of Marriott International.
Bill was born on March 25, 1932, in Washington, DC, to J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott. He attended St. Albans School and later the University of Utah, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in banking and finance. He then attended Navy training school in Georgia and from June 1954 to 1956, he served on the USS Randolph aircraft carrier as a wardroom mess officer in the Navy Supply Corps.
In June 1955, he married Donna Garff and they became the parents of one daughter and three sons. Bill is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served as an Area Seventy from 2004 to 2011.
Marriott serves on the board of The J. Willard & Alice S. Marriott Foundation. He is a member of the National Business Council and the Executive Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council. He served on the Board of Trustees of the National Geographic Society, as director of the United States Naval Academy Foundation, chairman of the President’s Export Council (PEC) and a member of the Secure Borders Open Doors Advisory Committee (SBODAC) and the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB). He also recently served as chairman of the Mayo Clinic Capital Campaign.