Marriott Marketing Chief Karin Timpone to Step Down at Year’s End

She led the successful launch of Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program

Headshot of Karin Timpone
Karin Timpone has been with Marriott since 2013. Getty Images

Karin Timpone, Marriott’s global marketing officer, is stepping down at the end of 2019 to “pursue new opportunities,” the company announced on Wednesday.

Timpone, who has been with Marriott since 2013 and was a 2017 Adweek Brand Genius and a 2016 Adweek 50 recipient, led the company’s marketing this year around its new Marriott Bonvoy rewards program, investing resources into building a robust content play for paid, earned and owned media. 

From getting sponsored content into splashy events like the Oscars to creating the Marriott Bonvoy Traveler online magazine, Timpone made content a focus of her business strategy and a significant piece of the customer experience. 

Storytelling from Marriott’s marketing perspective can lead to the most important aspect of Marriott’s business: booking rooms. 

In an earlier interview, Timpone told Adweek, “One of the things we determined over the last few years is that the relationship we want to have with our customer is really about an ongoing, loyal two-way dialogue that is best summed up through our loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy.”

Five-and-a-half years ago, the company didn’t have classic acquisition marketing in place. Timpone said it “tripled our audience since then, but we’ve fundamentally changed the voice, the way we go to market, how we integrate and promote our brands, how we think of the lifecycle of a customer, and then now adding on storytelling on travel to it. It’s the face of a real customer relationship.”

Marriott noted that during her tenure, the company grew its loyalty membership to 135 million members.

In a statement announcing the news, the hotel conglomerate credited Timpone with “transforming Marriott’s marketing capabilities, introducing next-generation marketing technologies, cutting-edge marketing partnerships and travel storytelling,” which won the company gold at Cannes Lions.

“I am so grateful to have led a central initiative within Marriott’s transformation,” Timpone said in a statement. “Having completed the Marriott Bonvoy launch with key marketing benchmarks ahead of estimates, this a perfect time for me to thoughtfully plan my next move.”

@joshsternberg Josh Sternberg is the former media and tech editor at Adweek.