What should Marriott do when a government official in a certain state bordering New Jersey alienates at least half of potential guests with a "you are not welcome here" comment made from the State House? Ignore it? Leave the state? Fight back?
I would assume most companies are willing to ignore comments like these, but just wondering what you would do if this happened and you were CEO?
I took this as more of a statement of individuals who are not welcomed in NY. And since I'm not planning on going to NY his insults don't apply to me.
But, if I was CEO of marriott getting out of NY might be in my top 5 or so, but first I'd leave Vietnam and China in my rearview mirror for starters.
That's just my opinion based on my own sense of ethics. Others obviously see it differently, and the sun will still come up tomorrow...probably.
Because I look forward to your 'waxed cotton jacket walk in the woods with the dogs' stories - here's the scoop:
(some fascinating comments attached as well - enjoy)
Good post anadyr - I'm pretty much in line with mmla. As a shareholder, as you suggest, I'm pondering Arne's wading into political matters, you would have to figure sooner or later, he's going to step in it. We'll see.
I agree, that's why it must be managed effectively. I work with several millennial CEOs and my role model for them of balancing business and politics is Bill Marriott. Having a 40 year relationship with the Marriott Corp., I have a pretty good grasp of their core values and few execute them better than Marriott. They have been into multi-cultural diversity for decades with suppliers, employees, and property owners. They developed a LGBT website (under Bill's leadership) long before it was cool/trendy/popular/no brainer. What I like about Marriott is how they manage business and rights issues without beating their chests over it ( I can remember the Vegas arguments back in the 70s). As an investor, I like my CEOs more along the line of Bill Marriott than Howard Schultz (although, highly successful and one I've done quite well with), but that's just a personal preference of moving into the twilight wanting to avoid headaches.
Bill Marriott senior was a friend of Presidents, even managed an inaugural as I recall, but those were days of gentlemanly discourse (sorry ladies) and aisles that were crossed. Now the booby traps and trip wires are everywhere, and doing good can get you in dutch with someone at sometime. Being a good citizen can mean speaking out as well as keeping silent, IMHO
"Taking no position is often seen as taking a side."
Therefore, are you disappointed that Marriott has not made a statement on the matter? If Hilton stated that they were disappointed with the comments by the government of New York and that they welcome all guests, would you switch from Marriott to Hilton?
100% agree with this. We over here always moan about corporates running the world so if Marriott decides to leave politics to the government and not comment - I for one am fine with that. I don't like mixing business with pleasure and as Marriott is one of my leisure luxuries I'd say leave the politic power struggle to those who signed up for it.
Some people (I am not sure what the % is) do make consumer decisions based on the policies and/or values of the company (Chick-Fil-A and Wal-Mart come to mind...the current CEO's former employer). I may, but it would be subconsciously. I am not aware of any major differences in hotel brands when it comes to policies or values, but I haven't really researched the subject.
Companies aren't organizations like the one I spoke of, either.
I think the real point is that Marriott and some of the other companies didn't have to say anything about what they thought. They were attacked for what they thought, so do they ignore the comments or stand up to them? At some point, they might have to stand up to them.
I think anadyr was asking what we (individually) would do in response to these comments if we were CEO of Marriott. He acknowledges that most businesses would probably ignore the comments. I agree that Marriott probably doens't gain alot by commenting...besides I probably wouldn't like what they had to say about it anyway. And Chick Fil A is my favorite place to eat.
Similar to mminla and Marriott, I too would have had no dog in the fight (for exactly the reason you stated).
I enjoy Chick Fil A also and as a private company, I've got no financial problem with what they do or when they are open (as a customer, I'd love some waffle fries on Sunday). Had it been a public company and I an investor, the most likely dip in value would have irritated me.
What I stated is what I would do if I were the CEO because I think it would be the best business decision. Even if a pool of customers were disappointed in Marriott for not taking a public stance on this issue (especially given their high number of properties in New York), it is most likely that a similar % of customers would be dissatisfied with Hilton, Starwood, etc.
Chick-Fil-A is one of the few companies that has a strong public stance on controversial issues such of these. They even miss out on revenue opportunities because of their decision to close all stores on Sundays to reflect/embrace their core values. However, they are the rare major company (left or right) that takes such a stance. I completely understand someone not patronizing a business because its core values conflict with their own values/beliefs or patronizing it because their values/beliefs align.
The government official is not an employee of Marriott; therefore, Marriott has no need to make any statement or take any public action on the matter. Making a public statement would be a bad idea because Marriott is not directly or even indirectly responsible for the government official comment (taking a corporate stance on this matter would more likely result in a boycott of Marriott than not making a statement).
If the comments from the government official truly resulted in a negative impact on tourism to New York and thus hotel revenue, it would impact not only Marriott but also Hilton, Starwood, etc. If the loss in revenue from this comment was significant, the best course of action for Marriott would to be to align with other hotel brands and approach the New York government about what countermeasures/actions they could initiate to resolve the issue.
Well we live in an interconnected world, and what if that government official had made the comment about a racial, ethnic or religious group? Would Marriott stay out of it. The new CEO seems to want to engage in matters political, like immigration reform, going to Davos, etc. Something to ponder
First of all, there are a lot of major corporations that do business in New York and many large corporations that have headquarters in New York. I do not see many public statements made on this matter. And regardless of one's beliefs, I personally think it is unreasonable to expect a non-related company to take a stance on the matter.
If it was a comment about an ethnic group or another US protected group...yes, Marriott would stay out of it. Recently, comments were made by a Duck Dynasty cast member that could be viewed as negative/offensive towards a US protected group. A&E made a public statement because Duck Dynasty is on their network. HBO did not make a public statement. DirecTV (which airs A&E's Duck Dynasty as part of its programming) did not make a public statement.
The only way the CEO of a non-related company would discuss it is if it would come up in an interview.
If a government official did make a very extreme and specific statement such as "We do not want this particular group to stay at hotels in New York", Marriott might be forced to make a statement on the matter. However, the comment from the New York government official was not intended or directly related to hotels or tourism.
But if that type of comment was made, Marriott's response to the matter would most likely be very similar to the responses of other hotel brands.
By the way, Marriott was the first hospitality company to establish a formal Diversity & Inclusion program--a program that most major corporations (in hospitality or other industries) have adopted since. I personally feel with the changing US landscape that this is not only important to embrace the differences of both company associates and customers, but it is necessary to ensure future success. Therefore, I applaud Marriott for being a leader in this field.
Your points about the CEO's desire to engage on all kinds of matters/topics might be true, but it would still need to be representative of the Marriott brand, their policy, their core values, and where the Marriott brand wants to go in the future.