“This building has so many unique features to it. But one thing I love is, at the end of the day, I’ll come into the lobby, the lights are low, and I’m in front of a 20-foot-tall digital wall waiting to go down Standing in the parking garage. It’s usually showing some kind of beautiful landscape, a place in the world you can travel to. It’s really a lovely way to end my workday.
Courtesy of Marriott International
That’s what Lynne Oberg, EVP and CFO at Marriott International, told me during our chat at the hotel industry giant’s new global headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. At the time, an ultra-high-resolution video wall, which changed several times a day, showed photography of the pyramids in Egypt. The new $600 million campus is a 21-story, 785,000-square-foot, LEEDv4 Gold-certified building that first opened in September.
With high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and flashy decor, this certainly isn’t your typical type of office building. and a cafeteria that looks like a restaurant, an 11,000-square-foot childcare center, lactation rooms, a fitness center, and 7,600 square feet of outdoor garden space, among other amenities, I had to remind myself that I’m not in Was a hotel. (There is an actual new Marriott hotel next door to campus, though.)
“So much of this building, and every decision, was about how to love our people, where they come to work,” says Oberg. For example, each allied workstation comes with natural light, a sit-stand desk and an ergonomic chair with a view outside, and mixed-seating collaboration stations line the windows on each work floor. There is also an Innovation and Design Lab and Test Kitchen.
(you can see LuckTour the new headquarters here.)
It’s certainly a change from Marriott’s former headquarters since the 1970s. “It was state of the art at the time,” Oberg says. “But by the time we moved out, it was very much what I would call ‘old school.’ They went to offices where you can tell what level a person is by counting the tiles on the roof. My office is now exactly the same size as anyone else’s.”
According to Marriott, 5,000 associates have been assigned to the headquarters. The company has a hybrid work policy. “We encourage people to come to in-person meetings, but there’s a lot of flexibility,” explains Oberg. “I would say that on Tuesdays and Wednesdays we’ve moved toward having around 60% of the HQ-based team. Thursdays are a close follow. Fridays are obviously a lot quieter, and Mondays can vary. Oberg’s Says that 25% of the building is collaboration space because “we have a lot of people coming in, like associates for training, and external service providers who need to meet with us.”
Oberg has been CFO at Marriott since 2016, and before that, he had several roles in finance, including CFO of the Marriott-owned Ritz-Carlton. Oberg assumed the additional role of EVP of development in February, tasked with the strategic growth of the company’s housing brands. I asked for his perspective on real estate, noting that many companies are downsizing.
“The business model of not owning large office buildings matches our asset-light business model as a company,” Oberg says. “Out of our 8,300 hotels, we own or lease only 1% of them.” She explains that the new headquarters is a “made-to-suit building where we are the only long-term tenant”. “We looked around the area and chose a site, and then began working with the landowner and real estate partners to construct the building.” It was a six-year project, says Oberg. “Other offices that the company has around the world are also office leases, but nowhere as large as this one. None of them are like what we actually have.
Buoyed by a resurgence in post-pandemic travel, Marriott in February reported net income of $673 million in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared with $468 million in the same period last year, and a 28.8% increase in revenue per available room. Marriott expects worldwide revenue per available room to grow 30% to 32% in the first quarter and 6% to 11% for the full year 2023. The company will report first quarter 2023 earnings results on May 2.
Also following the pandemic, the hospitality industry has dealt with a labor shortage. To retain talent at Marriott Hotels, Oberg says that efforts the company has made include reinstating the employee stock purchase plan, increasing matching on retirement accounts and adding more flexibility to work schedules.
So what’s Oberg’s favorite Marriott location? She replied diplomatically: “My favorite is my next trip,” she says.
“Developing the Work Report: The Value of an Employee-First Culture,” A report from Workhuman Released on 14 April, it looks at how work has evolved in recent years and how those changes have affected different groups of employees. Rates for different work arrangements vary significantly by industry. According to the findings, banking and finance, and software services, are among the industries that are leaning towards hybrid work models. By a wide margin, on-site work is still the primary arrangement in the retail, health care, manufacturing, education and hospitality industries. The findings are based on a survey of more than 4,100 full-time employees in the US, UK, Ireland and Canada.
,Reporting cyber attacks will soon be mandatory. Is Your Company Ready?A report in Harvard Business ReviewExplains how the business community can shape reporting into a structure that “will benefit not only governments and society but individual businesses at the same time.”
jesus portillo Mondee Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: MOND), a technology-driven, next-generation marketer, effective immediately. Portillo brings over 20 years of experience. He held senior finance roles within WPP plc (NYSE: WPP) for 18 years, including CFO of several subsidiaries in the United States, Latin America and Europe. Prior to his appointment to the CFO role at Mondee, Portillo held the position of Global CFO at ThriveDX Digital Skills Training. Prior to this, he served as the COO of Ilumno Holdings, a private equity-backed ed-tech company operating 17 universities.
george shutter Was named CFO at Food for the Hungry, a non-profit humanitarian organization. Schutter will be responsible for strategic financial planning and overseeing a team of 50 people and the organization’s asset portfolio. He has experience of more than three decades. Most recently, he served as Chief Procurement Officer for the District of Columbia, leading the DC Office of Contracts and Procurement and managing more than $11.7 billion in acquisitions for more than 79 district agencies. Previously, Schutter’s experience includes serving as CFO for other nonprofits and independent agencies such as TechnoServe and the Peace Corps. He is a CPA and a former Major in the US Marine Corps.
“Companies need to be clear about how their AI systems are trained, what data is used in that training, and what goes into the AI system’s recommendations. Developing responsible, ethical AI requires that we Eliminate any potential for human bias.”
– IBM Chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna wrote in a Luck Opinion piece on the impact of artificial intelligence.