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. carol hightower

    i have been a loyal Marriott Reward member for many years, obviously some while Romney was on the board – but at that time I did not understand or know of him or his political point of view. I do not believe I can continue to stay at any Marriott location if Romney as in employee of the company. Good bye Marriott!

    December 3, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  2. UVA_Fan

    Mitt, please run again in 2016, we need you desperately. Obama is leading us over the fiscal cliff, he's happy to greatly diminish our national defense and proud to have more people under his spell and on the government dole. So much for personal responsibility and accountability.

    Please consider running again in 2016.

    December 3, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    Please SUPRESSION anger at him–he did not win. Why anger???

    December 3, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  4. manhandler1

    Quit staying at Marrriots when the Mormons decided to push Prop 8 in California. Will NEVER stay there again..no matter who is on their board of directors.

    December 3, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  5. Lvsam

    He's stupid rich. He doesn't have a career. Only diversions.

    December 3, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  6. Corey

    Imagine we turned down this guy for some dummy who plats on Twitter all day.

    December 3, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  7. Steve

    Heck, now I am going to have to send back back my Marriott Rewards Card to the unholy Mormon cult. Who go you think his parents named Willard after?

    December 3, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  8. j

    @Johnny

    You mean all of the underpaid Latinos that keep the hotel clean and functional. That would be a great idea. NOT

    December 3, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  9. Loathstheright

    Just going back to being corporate pirate...yo ho and another job for china, that's the life for me.

    December 3, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  10. jopa

    Its sad that the american political culture has become so petty that we outright attack a person most of us want our children to grow up to be like, as reflected by the 80% of unbased slanderous comments here against a former presidential candidate and suscessful american business man. If you dont like him, you didnt have to vote for him, but do our culture a favor and stop turning american politics into MNF stands.

    December 3, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  11. Ancient Texan

    Romney would have been a great President, but the $200 million worth of lies and slander that the DNC ran against him paid off with the "gimme" crowd that voted for him.

    December 3, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  12. Penny Wright

    Romney ran the biggest tax fraud in American history at Marriott.

    Son of Boss.

    December 3, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  13. Gata

    Agree with Hilda, I'm originally from Spain, I immigrated LEGALLY to the US, and anybody who reads the news can see that the "Welfare" European continent (to which Obama aspires) is going down the drain: ever growing taxes, unsustainable debt, handouts, welfare checks, unemployment benefits, long vacations, low productivity, unions, strikes every other day, unsustainable public healthcare (which, incidentally, is slowly being transformed into a US co-pay system), unsustainable social security and Medicare benefits. I will be watching a repeat of the demise of Europe in the US in the next four years. But keep voting Obama and his hand-outs, and makers will take more Obama vacation and early retirement packages – why work to end up paying more taxes, among other things, to fund people who come ILLEGALLY to this country?. You can't fix stupid, so why pay for it?

    December 3, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  14. P. Lee

    No Marriott for me either!

    Talk about Politician Revolving Door. I’m sure Marriott is counting on Mitt's political connection!

    And like the other posters have already mentioned about the pay raises and hiring of mostly pt!
    Who the hell can live on a pt. time job that don't pay enough to begin with!

    They need to do away w/ Stock Options! Or at least Tax it at Regular Income Rate!

    December 3, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  15. John the Historian

    To all CNN readers of my blogs. I was right the planet kolob awaits Willard.

    December 3, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  16. kuewa

    Marriott must be so happy to have a job creator on their BOD. Now Mr. Romney can finally show everybody how he creates jobs by being a tax advantaged wealthy person. Meanwhile, the rest of us are hoping that his party doesn't push us over the cliff.

    December 3, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    I'm sure the Marriots would like to have someone like Mitt back on the Board so they can explore more creative ways of dodging taxes. That Son of Boss fraud that he signed off on as member of the audit committee didn't fly, but still no one went to jail. Sure Mitt, corporations are people.....

    December 3, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  18. roy

    Hope this is the last time I hear about Romney and his billionaire lifestyle.

    December 3, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  19. watchdogg2007

    He had to leave before he could go back. Next he'll be "going" back to bain. I guess it's OK to bend the truth as a Mormon.

    December 3, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  20. IvotedforObama

    Well I guess a bunch of Marriot employees will be losing their jobs soon.

    December 3, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  21. lee

    If Mittens was still at Bain the time clock would be ticking for the bankruptcy of Marriott. But... maybe it still is!

    December 3, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  22. Debby

    Pretty sad responses here at least he is WORKING vs. alot of lazy slobs out there.

    December 3, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  23. America Suckered Again

    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.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Obama's idea of leadership is partisan political games like the fiscal cliff follies he is playing now. We are so screwed as a nation it will be decades to recover from our poor decisions. We had a chance to head towards recovery with Romney/ Ryan, but we chose greed, class warfare and political games. Good luck to all of us.

    December 3, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  24. Sue James

    Mitt – You and Ann were the best! You are a winner and will continue to be a winner in whatever you do. God bless you and your family.

    December 3, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  25. Brian

    Guys the election is over no need to throw stones at Mitt Romney, Come on lets have some class in winning and losing, Let's move on and continue to make this country great. Democrats, Republicans and Independents i.e. Americans need to work together to solve many important issues. So instead of trashing people, lets move on and help people and help this nation

    December 3, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
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