Skift Global Forum was Skift's first event and also helped launch a series the most creative business gatherings in the global travel industry. Over the last four years they have become what media, speakers, and attendees have called the "TED of travel."
Skift Global Forum is the premier travel conference focused on the top marketers, strategists, and technologists in the industry — the people creating and defining the future of travel. Skift carefully curates topics and speakers for this two day conference in order to inspire our fellow professionals in travel about the business and creative potential of world’s largest industry.
Arne M. Sorenson is President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International, Inc. Mr. Sorenson presides over one of the world’s largest hospitality companies and some of the most iconic brands in travel.
Mr. Sorenson led the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in 2016, resulting in a dramatic expansion of Marriott’s ability to provide unparalleled guest experiences around the world. The company now has more than 6,700 properties across 130 countries and territories and 30 brands. The merger also created the travel industry’s largest customer-loyalty program, with more than 110 million members.
An outspoken corporate leader, he has advocated for environmental sustainability, a more open, safe and inclusive workplace, a welcoming culture around the world and a future in which international travel is revolutionized with a global digital identification system.
Mr. Sorenson joined Marriott in 1996 and held a number of positions before serving as President and Chief Operating Officer. He was elected to Marriott’s Board of Directors in 2011. He became Chief Executive Officer in 2012, making history as the first person to hold the post without the Marriott family name.
With a keen interest in international trade, immigration and innovation, Mr. Sorenson is active on multiple boards. He joined the Microsoft board of directors in November 2017. He is also a member of the Business Roundtable.
Rafat is the CEO/Founder of Skift, the largest business intelligence and marketing platform in travel, providing news, information, data, and services to all sectors of the world’s largest industry.
Previously, he was the founder/CEO of paidContent and ContentNext, which he sold to UK's Guardian News and Media in 2008, and left in 2010. Prior to that, he was managing editor of Silicon Alley Reporter.
Rafat was the Knight Fellow at Indiana University, where he completed his Masters in Journalism, 1999-2000. Prior to that he completed his BSc in Computer Engineering, from AMU in Aligarh, India.
Mark S. Hoplamazian was appointed to the board of directors in November 2006 and named president and chief executive officer of Hyatt Hotels Corporation in December 2006. Prior to being appointed to his present position, Hoplamazian served as president of The Pritzker Organization (TPO), the principal financial and investment adviser for Pritzker family business interests. During his 17-year tenure with TPO, he served as adviser to various Pritzker family-owned companies, including Hyatt Hotels Corporation and its predecessors. He previously worked in international mergers and acquisitions at the First Boston Corporation in New York City. Hoplamazian was appointed to the VF Corporation board of directors in February 2015, and serves on the advisory board of Facing History and Ourselves, the Chicago Booth Council for the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the executive committee of the board of directors of World Business Chicago, and the board of trustees of the Aspen Institute and of the Latin School of Chicago. Hoplamazian is a member of the World Travel & Tourism Council and the Commercial Club of Chicago. He also is a member of the Discovery Class of the Henry Crown Fellowship.
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