Romney re-joins Marriott's corporate board
Romney resigned from board in Jan. 2011
Marriott International, Inc. announced Monday that former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney had rejoined their board of directors, a position he held prior to his White House bid.
"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 wrote in a statement distributed by Marriott.
The move is one of the first signs of Romney returning to his pre-election life. The former GOP nominee will be subletting space at the offices of his son Tagg's investment firm Solamere Capital in Boston, though he won't be joining the firm himself, aides said.
The former candidate has mostly stayed out of the spotlight since his Election Night remarks in Boston. He was spotted taking in the latest installment of the "Twilight" movie franchise with his family, and on Thanksgiving shared a photo with his wife Ann on his official Facebook page.
He met with President Barack Obama and his former running mate Rep. Paul Ryan in Washington last Thursday, but did not speak to reporters afterwards. A statement from the White House said Romney and Obama discussed American leadership abroad, and vowed to stay in touch.
Romney resigned from Marriott's board in January 2011, a year before the first votes in the GOP primary and caucus season. He served on the board beginning in 1993, leaving in 2002 when he served as governor of Massachusetts. He rejoined the board again in 2009.
"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. wrote in a statement. "We will benefit from his tremendous energy and capability to guide long-term success in an increasingly complex business environment."
Marriott directors received a base pay of $60,000 and $110,000 in Marriott stock in 2011, the most recent year for which pay has been disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition they received $1,250 for every meeting they attended.
Romney has maintained a longtime friendship with members of the Marriott family, who like him are members of the same church and who also own a vacation home on Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.
Speaking during church services at the Wolfeboro branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in September, J.W. Marriott Jr. credited Mitt Romney with changing Americans' perceptions about Mormonism.
"That's a great tribute to Mitt and Ann and their family for living such an exemplary life," Marriott, the head of the hotel chain, told the congregation gathered in the picturesque New Hampshire hamlet. "Now that we're out of obscurity, everybody is looking at us and saying, 'Are you as good as the Romneys?'"
The Romney and Marriott families have a long-standing friendship. Mitt Romney's father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, named his son Willard Mitt Romney after J. Willard Marriott, the family's patriarch.
Romney's association with the company was the subject of Democratic criticism during the general election campaign. Obama's team hurled charges - pegged to an editorial on CNN.com -- that Romney was involved with the reporting of a $70 million fictional tax loss when he served on Marriot's board in the 1990s.
While Romney did not face criminal charges, unlike others linked to the scandal, the authors of the editorial wrote "his endorsement of this stratagem provides insight into Romney's professional ethics and attitude toward tax compliance obligations."
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