Marriott names veteran Liam Brown president, managing director for Europe

AC Hotel by Marriott Birmingham, England. Photo credit: Marriott International (bar with stools)

Marriott International has tapped hospitality veteran Liam Brown as president and managing director of Europe. Brown, currently president, select brands and owner and franchise services, North America will oversee the UK, Ireland and Continental Europe. He will replace Amy McPherson, who will retire from the company in early 2019.

Over the past decade, Marriott has moved from the 10th position in total rooms distribution in Europe to second today with over 570 hotels across 41 countries, and another 206 properties in its European pipeline. The company has 23 of its brands represented in Europe, including The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, JW Marriott, W Hotels, Marriott, Le Méridien, Sheraton and AC Hotels by Marriott. Design Hotels, a collection of privately owned and operated hotels and a part of Marriott’s brand portfolio, will continue to be overseen by Brown in his new role.

Liam Brown 

Liam Brown. Photo credit: Marriott International

A Dublin native who has called the U.S. home for nearly 30 years, Brown has served in his current role since 2013, overseeing all of Marriott’s franchising in North America across all brands, as well as leading Managed by Marriott, which operates more than 425 select-service hotels.

The megachain's franchising encompasses more than 4,200 hotels in the U.S. and Canada. Under Brown’s leadership, both the franchised and managed business have delivered what the company terms "superior performance" for hotel owners and franchisees due to his approach to lowering costs and developing innovative strategies to improve profitability. During his tenure, the number of hotels in his purview grew from nearly 3,200 to more than 5,000.

Since joining the company in 1989, Brown has held a number of leadership positions at Marriott including EVP, select-service and extended-stay development; SVP, Fairfield Inn franchising; and SVP, Residence Inn franchising.  

Brown started his career at Marriott and spent his first 10 years with the company in general manager roles at full-service, select-service and extended-stay hotels in the company’s portfolio.

Brown has a degree from Trinity College as well as an MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Management at the University of Maryland. Brown, who has been a member of the International Franchise Association since 2009, currently serves as the organization’s chairman.

“Liam is the perfect choice to lead Marriott’s next chapter of growth in Europe,” said Arne Sorenson, president and CEO, Marriott International. “Liam has an extraordinary ability to connect with people—associates, guests, owners and franchisees. His relationship-focused approach to doing business drives tremendous results, earning him fans across our company and within our community of owners. He’s a world-class executive, who has that terrific combination of property, operations and corporate experience that will serve him well as he takes on this important role.”

Brown will relocate to Marriott’s European office in London during first-quarter 2019.