WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney is rejoining the board of directors at Marriott International, taking a step back into the business world four weeks after the end of his unsuccessful presidential bid.
Romney’s return to the large hotel chain’s board is an indication that the 65-year-old is not planning to enter a traditional retirement after not realizing his long quest to become president.
“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.
Romney has served on the board of the large hotel chain several times. He was on the board from 1993 to 2002, leaving when he was elected Massachusetts governor. He returned to the board from January 2009 to January 2011, the only job he took in the private sector in between his two presidential bids.
Romney earned nearly $114,000 from being on the board for the previous year, according to campaign finance records that Romney filed in 2011.
Romney has long ties with the hotel chain. Romney, whose first name is Willard, was named after the hotels chain’s founder, J. Willard Marriott, who was friends with Romney’s father, George. It was also often the preferred hotel of choice during his presidential campaigns.
“We are delighted that Governor 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 this afternoon in a statement. “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.”
Since he lost the election, Romney has largely faded from public view as he contemplates what to do next. He is planning to move into an office within Solamere Capital, an investment firm on Boston’s Newbury Street that was cofounded by Romney’s oldest son, Tagg, and his campaign’s national finance chairman, Spencer Zwick.
Romney is subleasing the space, but has no plans to have a role in the firm.
Last week, he had private lunch at the White House with his campaign rival, President Obama. Both sides said the meeting was cordial, although few specifics were released on what was discussed.