Marriott CEO doesn’t let personal belief interfere with business practices



By Kelly Craig

Bill Marriott is the chairman and former CEO of Marriott International, a Mormon owned business.  Because of his devotion to separating personal beliefs and business, he has expressed his views on gay marriage without backlash, unlike president and COO of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy.

Marriott personally believes marriage is a union between a man and a woman, but he has kept this belief from affecting how his business is run. 

He explains his views of the church to Diane Brady at Bloomberg Businessweek:

“This church helped me raise a family and has brought great joy and happiness to my life. We have to take care of our people, regardless of their sexual orientation or anything else. We are an American Church. We have all the American values: the values of hard work, the values of integrity, the values of fairness and respect.”

He also explains how his position in the church has affected his professional work:

“Our church is very much opposed to alcohol and we’re probably one of the biggest sales engines of liquor in the United States. I don’t drink. We serve a lot of liquor. You’re in business. You’ve got to make money. We have to appeal to the masses out there, no matter what their beliefs are.”

Although the church Marriott attends in California campaigned against same-sex unions, he set his personal beliefs aside and did what is best for his company. He abstained from making donations to the campaign and instead reassured the public of Marriott International’s support of LGBT rights.

This approach is certainly in contrast to Dan Cathy’s actions.

Chick-fil-A has donated almost $2 million to anti-gay causes in 2009 and 2010. 

After recent uproar regarding Cathy’s remarks, the company has vowed to stop talking about gay marriage. However, the statement lacked personalization from Cathy himself.

“Not only did he openly condemn the beliefs of a big chunk of Chick-fil-A’s audience,” Brady writes, “he implied that their views are unpatriotic and even put the country at risk.”

Would you agree that Chick-fil-A should take some pointers from Marriott, or does Marriott’s approach seem dishonest?


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