Marriott International announced that longtime senior executive David Grissen (pictured) has decided to step down from his position as group president of the Americas at the end of 2020 and retire from Marriott in the first quarter of 2021, after 36 years with the company. Grissen, who has been leading the company’s Americas business for the past 11 years, oversees all of the Americas’ lodging business, comprising more than 5,640 properties and a workforce of 160,000 people.
Marriott also announced plans for the company’s lodging operations to be consolidated under two Marriott leaders after Grissen steps down. Under this plan, Liam Brown will take on the role of group president of North America, and Craig Smith will take on the role of group president, international.
Brown is currently group president of Europe, Middle East & Africa. A 30-year Marriott veteran, Brown has spent the majority of his career working in the U.S. Prior to taking over leadership of the EMEA region, Brown was president of Europe, and prior to that, president ofselect brands and owner and franchise services in North America. The company’s Canadian operations will remain part of the North American portfolio under Brown.
Smith will oversee all non-North American operations for Marriott including the Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Caribbean & Latin America (CALA) regions. Smith, a 32-year Marriott veteran, is currently group president in Asia Pacific. Prior to his current role, Smith spent two and a half years leading the company’s CALA region. Smith’s experience spans work on property (he started in housekeeping), in operations, and in staff roles with an international focus—27 of his 32 years with Marriott have been spent in international markets.
Photo: Courtesy of Marriott International