(Photo: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has rejoined the board of directors of Marriott International, the parent company of one of the world's largest hospitality, hotel chains, and food services companies, owned by a devout Mormon family.
"We are delighted that Gov. Romney has agreed to rejoin our board, on which he has served with distinction twice before," J.W. Marriott, Jr., the company's executive chairman, said in a statement on Monday. "We will benefit from his tremendous energy and capability to guide long-term success in an increasingly complex business environment. We look forward to working closely with him again as a member of our strong, talented and diverse board."
Romney, who has spent most of his time in his family's California home since he lost to President Barack Obama in the November election, responded by saying it was an honor for him to serve in a renowned and successful company.
"It is an honor to once again be able to serve in the company of leaders like Bill Marriott and Arne Sorenson and to support the work of the tens of thousands of Marriott associates who make Marriott International the renowned success that it is," Romney said in a statement.
The Maryland-based company has over 3,700 properties in 74 countries and territories, with reported revenue of roughly $12 billion in fiscal 2011.
Marriott International, known as the Marriott Corporation until 1993, was founded in 1927 by John Willard Marriott, a close friend of Romney's father. At the age of 19, Marriott, from the Mormon faith, undertook the traditional missionary work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for two years in New England.
Romney, who is also from the LDS faith, served on the board of Marriott International from 1993 until 2002, when he quit to serve as Massachusetts governor. He joined the company again after an unsuccessful run for president in 2008. He served until January 2011, when he resigned to be in the race for the White House.
The current chairman of the board, Marriott, Jr., is also a devout Mormon. In 1997, he was appointed as an Area Authority Seventy and member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy. After its split in 2004, Marriott joined the newly-created Sixth Quorum of the Seventy, serving until his release in October 2011.