Marriott says Sorenson to remain CEO while being treated for pancreatic cancer

FILE PHOTO: Marriott Chief Executive Arne Sorenson speaks during an interview with Reuters in a hotel in Berlin, March 3, 2015. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

(Reuters) - Hotel chain Marriott International Inc said on Friday Chief Executive Officer Arne Sorenson was diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer, but will continue in his role while being treated.

Sorenson will start treatment, beginning with chemotherapy next week, and surgery is expected by the end of 2019, the company.

The cancer was discovered early and does not appear to have spread, Sorenson said in message to employees.

Sorenson, who joined Marriott in 1996, has since held a number of positions besides leading the nearly $14 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in 2016.

In March, Sorenson apologized before a U.S. Senate panel for a massive data breach involving up to 383 million guests in its Starwood hotels reservation system and vowed to protect against future attacks.

Marriott is scheduled to announce first-quarter earnings next week.

Reporting by Rachit Vats and Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Arun Koyyur