Romney re-joins Marriott's corporate board
December 3rd, 2012
03:10 PM ET
2 years 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. buzz

    Innkeeper in chief.

    December 3, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  2. vboni

    I guess the Marriott employees will have to learn the Chinese language if they want to communicate with their new owners. They may also have to relocate to China if they want to keep their jobs

    December 3, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  3. EddyL

    Marriott is part of the Mormon Empire.... NEVER STAY THERE.

    December 3, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  4. Jack

    As long as he stays out of politics, the world will be a better place. It's interesting that Marriott and other companies like it don't follow Federal laws that require it to make sure it's hiring legal citizens. republicans don't want illegals to be granted citizenship but they want them to do the cheap jobs.

    Wait and see, the republicans will do everything in their power to grand illegals citizenship before the 2014 elections. They will make everyone feel it was their decision and not the Democrats. They need those votes.

    December 3, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  5. Martin

    Maybe he can clean up his act to the point where he can show his tax returns.

    December 3, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  6. ted

    I never liked Marriot, now I know why.

    December 3, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  7. GaryB

    Which just goes to show, if you're born rich and/or well-connected, if you get into the right clique,, no matter how much you fail, there's always a high-paying/low-working job waiting for you. I don't think that Romney ever appreciated the fact that this in not how life works for 90% of the country.

    December 3, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  8. Larry in Houston

    Guess the wife & I will end up staying Anywhere Else – when we travel – especially at X-mas time.

    December 3, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  9. Mikey

    Local news here in Salt Lake showed a picture of Romney pumping gas. Looked like the perfect career move to me!

    December 3, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  10. Deb in MT

    Well, it's nice that he has a job again after all those years he spent "unemployed".

    Can we please talk about something else now? Thankyou.

    December 3, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  11. vlad the impaler

    Then you should mind your own business in argentina and go back there and stop wasting our oxygen and living off our government...understand??? Comprende???

    December 3, 2012 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  12. jade

    romney a good man-good bus. man- america scrwed up not to choose romeny for usa president. by nature romeny is a good econmy guy- all my friend usa-europe and asian countries likes marriott; also asian countries love romney and like to stay in marriott; i recoment all my friend to make a reservatrion in marriott love the hotel.

    December 3, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  13. dave

    here in asia we have amrriott jotel now we like to stay i9n marriott- we adore usa candiate mitt romeny for pres. and also workign in mariott bravo good man romeny.

    December 3, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  14. Jim

    Well, that seals it. It's Motel 6 for me from now on.

    December 3, 2012 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  15. john

    "Son of Boss" returns!

    December 3, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  16. Pat

    He'll take his salary and stow it away in the Cayman Islands and the American will continue to carry his tax burden until the day he dies or even start carrying Tagg's tax burden after that.

    December 3, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  17. Joshua Ludd

    Its nice to see that Rmoney finally found work in this tough economy. I mean, sure, he put on a brave face and joked about his unemployment, but we all knew he was really doing everything he could to make ends meet for his family on the $20 million he made in interest and dividends last year and his meager $200 million dollars in savings and assets.

    December 3, 2012 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  18. Squigman

    Surely none of you thought he'd miss a meal? Come on people, he's one of the 1% club. A club you and I are not invited to join by the way.

    December 3, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  19. NoKidding

    So the 53% get to enjoy their stay at the Marriott, with the other 47% serving them (making minimum wage, I'm sure they don't pay taxes). How clever!!

    December 3, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  20. StoptheBS

    Damn, I really liked Marriott hotels. I guess I'll have find an alternate hotel chain. That moron & his supporters won't receive a dime from me. I wish the media provided more information like this on the many other companies that are sending jobs overseas, in bed with Lobbyist, etc. Mitt you're a moron. Losing is what you do best.

    December 3, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  21. helenecha

    Marriott International, Inc. is very lucky. Congratulations and Godspeed! Believe it or not, not all successful businessmen or businesswomen can have their potential, but Romney's capabilities of dealing with politics must be as brilliant as his capabilities of dealing with business.

    December 3, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  22. joseph smith III

    Great article! Yes, I learned that Mormons have a God with his own planet called Kolob; there is not "trinity" in the Mormon church (hence, they are NOT Christian), and MItt is about as stiff as every Mormon I've ever met.

    Mitt...I voted for you only because you were not Obama (an even greater evil).

    December 3, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  23. Al

    I bet He will run the chain better than O runs the USA (into the ground)

    December 3, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  24. xirume

    If that's him in the pic, his pants are too short. He's wearing puddle jumpers.

    December 3, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  25. Jilm

    Dude, start a charity, give something back. I mean seriously, don't you have enough money already?

    December 3, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
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