Romney re-joins Marriott's corporate board
December 3rd, 2012
03:10 PM ET
1 year ago

Romney re-joins Marriott's corporate board

(CNN) – Marriott International, Inc. announced Monday that former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney had rejoined their board of directors, a position he held prior to his White House bid.

"It is an honor to once again be able to serve in the company of leaders like Bill Marriott and Arne Sorenson and to support the work of the tens of thousands of Marriott associates who make Marriott International the renowned success that it is," Romney wrote in a statement distributed by Marriott.

The move is one of the first signs of Romney returning to his pre-election life. The former GOP nominee will be subletting space at the offices of his son Tagg's investment firm Solamere Capital in Boston, though he won't be joining the firm himself, aides said.

The former candidate has mostly stayed out of the spotlight since his Election Night remarks in Boston. He was spotted taking in the latest installment of the "Twilight" movie franchise with his family, and on Thanksgiving shared a photo with his wife Ann on his official Facebook page.

He met with President Barack Obama and his former running mate Rep. Paul Ryan in Washington last Thursday, but did not speak to reporters afterwards. A statement from the White House said Romney and Obama discussed American leadership abroad, and vowed to stay in touch.

Romney resigned from Marriott's board in January 2011, a year before the first votes in the GOP primary and caucus season. He served on the board beginning in 1993, leaving in 2002 when he served as governor of Massachusetts. He rejoined the board again in 2009.

"We are delighted that Gov. Romney has agreed to rejoin our board, on which he has served with distinction twice before," J.W. Marriott, Jr. wrote in a statement. "We will benefit from his tremendous energy and capability to guide long-term success in an increasingly complex business environment."

Marriott directors received a base pay of $60,000 and $110,000 in Marriott stock in 2011, the most recent year for which pay has been disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition they received $1,250 for every meeting they attended.

Romney has maintained a longtime friendship with members of the Marriott family, who like him are members of the Mormon church and who also own a vacation home on Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.

Speaking during church services at the Wolfeboro branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in September, J.W. Marriott Jr. credited Mitt Romney with changing Americans' perceptions about Mormonism.

"That's a great tribute to Mitt and Ann and their family for living such an exemplary life," Marriott, the head of the hotel chain, told the congregation gathered in the picturesque New Hampshire hamlet. "Now that we're out of obscurity, everybody is looking at us and saying, 'Are you as good as the Romneys?'"

The Romney and Marriott families have a long-standing friendship. Mitt Romney's father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, named his son Willard Mitt Romney after J. Willard Marriott, the family's patriarch.

Romney's association with the company was the subject of Democratic criticism during the general election campaign. Obama's team hurled charges – pegged to an editorial on CNN.com - that Romney was involved with the reporting of a $70 million fictional tax loss when he served on Marriot's board in the nineteen-nineties.

While Romney did not face criminal charges, unlike others linked to the scandal, the authors of the editorial wrote "his endorsement of this stratagem provides insight into Romney's professional ethics and attitude toward tax compliance obligations."

CNNMoney's Chris Isidore and CNN's Jim Acosta and Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.


Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. Johnny

    He should get to work and fire anyone in the organizaton that voted for Hussein.

    December 3, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    No Marriott for me either.

    My understanding is that this creep was unemployed prior to running (again) for POTUS. If that's the case, the president made people take a second look at Willard and he should be grateful that he's not worth mentioning.

    December 3, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. rs

    Another reason I am glad I didn't sign up for the Marriott timeshare vacation plan!

    December 3, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. zandhcats

    I hope he'll change the culture inside the hotel where I stayed last year in SF. The staff in front desk told us even with the 80'% occupancy the hotel refused to raise their pay for 4 years. Even the lady worked in the cafeteria complain abt the less hours, they hire part time instead of full time, who was so nice there was a day I was late & the kitchen was closed, she got some snacks to me from the kitchen that I didn't ask for. Good luck to those hard working people there!

    December 3, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. Sorensen

    Marriot sure needs some good, old-fashioned BAIN strategic thinking!!! Hello!!

    December 3, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. rehabmax

    Time for Mitt to make back all the millions he spent on the campaign. I guess in about 6 months he'll be flush again with cash. Don't cry for Mitt. Stay at a Marriott hotel, donate to the Mitt Romney fund.

    December 3, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    That should've been "caucusing".

    December 3, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  8. rehabmax

    Don't cry for Mitt. He'll be flush with cash again very soon and make back all the millions he spent on the campaign. Stay at a Marriott hotel and donate to the Mitt Romney fund.

    December 3, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  9. Larry L

    What are those of us who got all excited about the lifestyle of the Romney's supposed to do now? I've got these dressage horses to feed and not nearly enough houses for all of the cars I bought! Maybe Mitt will offer me a position at Marriott... I see the busboy is making Mitt carry his own bags now. He "likes firing people" so that job should be opening up soon...

    December 3, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. Billy davis

    At least he can stay in the Presidential Suite. Baaaaaaahahahahaha......

    December 3, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  11. lensmith

    So money still begets money. Poor Romney is only going to make about $100,000 in stock and $1250 for an hour meeting with all expenses paid. I will bet there are a lot of poor people working for Marriott hotels, that would like some benefits.

    December 3, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. Spence

    There have always been leaders and followers. Leaders will be rewarded, followers will be content. I am amazed at how driven the Democrats(all) are at "striking a blow" at the very core of american success. Isn't it ironic that the wealthy families contribute the major share of all charitable work, create the majority of all the jobs and businesses, invest money into the future growth or transition of their organizations. The reason the liberal rationing has failed throughout history in every civilization, is the inability to grasp that they should be thankful that human existence has far more benefited from the nasty old white "rich" people and their visions over any other IDEA that has been and is still being used today. Oh, by the way, where was all of the hatred for the "fat cats" on wall street when the dot.com grew and burst. Oh, thats right, people made money off of Wall Street, they were our friends and good neighbors then.
    You think we have a leader now?
    Even Bill Clinton new how to work (use) both sides. Bottom line is Clinton tax rates were reflective of the Dot.Com boom. Funny how when it burst there was no capital equipment to reinvest, there was no inherent value of these "million dollar" firms, and now all of a sudden we have to lower taxes to "stimulate" the mass.
    But yet we produced the most millionaires in history at that time. Less than 8% of those firms are here today.
    One thing for sure is, partisan political goals not the county's interests are in the best interest of the administration. An eighth grader can understand that you have to promote job growth before you can collect higher taxes. Which is a problem for the administration since it has spent far more than can possibly taken in, and included a mother of all debts in the "cheaper" health care law, that now it needs money from where ever it can get it.
    Try buying a $2 loaf of bread for a dollar and see how far you get. Or you could dress it up like a candy bar...................

    December 3, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. AgrippaMT

    Mittens probably wanted a nice suite where he and Annie can sulk together.

    December 3, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    I would hope that Mittens would donate his salary to charity – something other than his church. Lord knows he doesn't need the cash!

    December 3, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. hoosierwolf

    Well, I just spent my last night in a Marriott.

    December 3, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  16. Ken in MD

    That's nice. He found work. Now he can feed his family. Next?

    December 3, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. ulli

    Uh... unemployment???

    December 3, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. Jo

    Election's over guys, so no need to demonize Mitt Romney, even though all of these accusations don't have solid evidence but rather some serious speculations from politically charged opponents. Romney is a seriously good guy, donating over 30% of his income for charity! Most, if not all, of those who try to slander Romney only demand government to take away money from others to help the poor, rather than focusing on helping the poor with their own money. Such a sad state when good people are given only unethical or corrupt reasons for trying to do good, by those who don't even come close to doing so much as lift the world in words and acts.

    December 3, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  19. Paul Price

    No more stays at Marriott for me. My corporate travel agency has been notified to cancel any reservations that may exist and not to make any future reservations at Marriott.

    I have had my fill of Romney

    December 3, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  20. Bob

    "so no need to demonize Mitt Romney"

    His arrogance and lies demand he be demonized and shunned until they plant him in the ground.

    December 3, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  21. Zenger Folkman

    Willard Marriot is one of the few Repub muckety mucks who don't want to crack down on illegal immigration. Illegal immigrants are a big source of cheap labor at the Marriott Hotels and Reports. How many of you Tea Baggers knew that?

    December 3, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  22. The REAL Truth...

    @namethename – Ignorant press supports ignorant people in power and help ignorant people come out and vote for them.
    ------------------------------–
    Look in the mirror much? How about the 63 trips Dubya took to Crawford, TX during his final 2 yrs as POTUS ???
    Guarantee you he didn't go by Greyhound!

    December 3, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  23. Hilda

    I am missing the opportunity of a very smart, successful businessman to have been a great president.
    Obama is going to take us down the hill in a situation we will never be able to get back. Time will tell and history
    books wil be written. Too late for a come back!. I am for Argentina, and the history of that country is the repeat of this country. :-( Too many wants somebody's money without the work it only takes to poverty.

    December 3, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  24. Zenger Folkman

    Give it up, Spence. If Romney is your idea of a "leader", I hate to think where you want to be led. The president? Yes, he lis leading this nation out of the long, dark, GOP recession caused by guys like Romney and other "anything for a buck" "businessmen" types.

    December 3, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. joe in ca

    if he can find a awy to outsource the maid service to india he will

    December 3, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
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