NewsMay 13, 2020

Craig Smith To Become Marriott International’s Group President – International

Dave Grissen, Marriott International’s Group President for the Americas, has decided to step down from his position towards the end of 2020. He has worked at the company for 36 years and plans to retire from Marriott in the first quarter of 2021. Craig S. Smith is reported to take over the role of Group President at Marriott International.

Dave, who has been leading the company’s Americas business for the past eleven years, oversees all of the Americas’ lodging business comprising more than 5,640 properties and a work force of 160,000 people.


“It’s hard for me to picture a Marriott without Dave Grissen, someone who has been such an integral part of this company for so long,” said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International. “Dave is the consummate strategist with the mind of an operator. He is as equally skilled at driving successful implementation as he is at looking over the horizon to identify that next, new idea. Perhaps his most important legacy is the work he has done to champion leadership training and the impact that had developing new leaders and driving performance at our hotels across the region. We will certainly miss Dave, but I know that the next phase of his life will be as dynamic and meaningful as his extraordinary tenure here at Marriott.”

Dave leads all aspects of the company’s biggest region, the Americas, which generates over two-thirds of the company’s fee revenues.

Under Dave’s leadership, Marriott’s Americas organization has grown from 2,928 hotels to 5,640 properties today, with another 1,800 hotels in the pipeline. He also has global responsibility for one of the company’s most acclaimed luxury brands, Edition.

Dave started with the company as a division controller and has held a number of positions during his tenure with Marriott including: Senior Vice President of Finance and Business Development; Senior Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Region; Executive Vice President of the Eastern Region; President of the Americas; and, Group President with responsibility for the Americas division and company-wide areas such as Global Operations.

Craig S. Smith will take on the role of Group President, International.

In his new role as Group President, International, Craig will oversee all non-North American operations for Marriott including the Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa and Caribbean & Latin America (CALA) regions.

Craig, a 32-year Marriott veteran, is currently Group President, Asia Pacific. Prior to his current role, he spent two and a half years leading the company’s CALA region.

Craig’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.