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Marriott CEO Sorenson Details Crisis Contingency Plans in Emotional Address

He said the losses are worse than the Great Depression and WWII

In an emotional video message on Thursday to Marriott International employees, CEO Arne Sorenson characterized the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis as more severe for the hotel chain than the Great Depression and World War II. He added that the chain’s global business is running about 75 percent lower than normal, hundreds of hotels have closed and some may never re-open.

The current financial situation, he said, is more dire than the worst quarter ever in the company’s business, which saw roughly a 25 percent decline on average in hotel revenue globally. He did not detail which quarter that was.

“In terms of our business, COVID-19 is like nothing we’ve ever seen before,” Sorenson said, adding that the financial impact is worse than 9/11 and the 2009 financial crisis combined.

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