< PrevNext > Arne Sorenson, Marriott International president & CEO The Bidding War Winner By Julie Sickel / December 20, 2016 / Contact Reporter Share BTN named Sorenson among its 25 most influential executives of 2015 for the company's acquisition of Delta Hotels and planned acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Now, Marriott's emergence as the victor of a heated 2016 bidding war for Starwood, plus Sorenson's moves since, have landed him back on the list this year.Over three weeks in March, Sorenson went head-to-head with a Chinese consortium led by Anbang Insurance Group that came out of nowhere to offer an unsolicited bid for Starwood. When all was over, Marriott was back on track to acquire Starwood but at a price tag more than $1 billion higher than originally agreed upon.The transaction closed in September, bringing together 1.1 million rooms across 5,700 properties. Sorenson estimated Marriott will realize $250 million in annual corporate cost synergies, enhancing revenue opportunities for its managed and franchised properties. Our [merged] portfolio gives our customers so many more options to choose from." Tasked with integrating the companies smoothly, Sorenson has pledged to keep all 30 brands. In December, the company released new brand categories, labeling the brands as either Classic or Distinctive and further breaking them down into luxury, premium, select and longer-stay tiers.While Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest, totaling 85 million loyalty members, aren't set to merge until 2018, Sorenson satisfied SPG skeptics on Day One when Marriott introduced status matching across the programs with one converted SPG point equaling three Marriott Rewards or Ritz-Carlton points.In the corporate space, Marriott has plenty of work to do to understand the client base it inherited from Starwood, Sorenson said in November. Meanwhile, concerns remain about the impact Marriott's increased power and presence will have on 2018 hotel negotiations.