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The Force Behind Bonvoy Says “Bon Voyage” to Marriott

The Force Behind Bonvoy Says “Bon Voyage” to Marriott
Joe Cortez

The head of the marketing team that transformed Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest to Marriott Bonvoy will be stepping down at the end of the year. Karin Timpone, previously named 2017 AdWeek Genius, will leave the major hotel company at the end of the year.

Formerly decorated for her leadership of Marriott’s worldwide image, the global marketing officer of Marriott Bonvoy will depart from the brand she’s built over the last six years. AdWeek reports Karin Timpone will leave the company at the end of 2019.

Ms. Timpone is a Cannes Lions gold winner, was named to the AdWeek 50 in 2016 and was named one of 10 AdWeek Brand Geniuses in 2017 for her leadership. Among frequent travelers, she may be known best for her transition of Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest into Marriott Bonvoy, the combined loyalty program of both hotel chains and The Ritz-Carlton.

Through her leadership, Marriott claims, Marriot Bonvoy membership grew to around 135 million members. According to AdAge, the executive also used content marketing and storytelling to move Bonvoy from a transactional program to a “partnership” between the company and travelers.

“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,” Ms. Timpone previously told AdAge.

But among the travel community, the term “Bonvoyed” became a verb for anything bad that happened in the new program. Examples provided of getting “Bonvoyed” include charging no-show fees outside of policies and wait times of over two hours long.

Ms. Timpone will make her exit from the company at the end of 2019. The hotelier has not announced a replacement for their global marketing officer, but in a statement to AdAge credited her for “transforming Marriott’s marketing capabilities, including next-generation marketing technologies, cutting-edge marketing partnerships and travel storytelling.”


[Featured Image: Shutterstock]

View Comments (3)


  1. arcticflier

    September 6, 2019 at 5:25 am

    Hats Off to Ms. Timpone.

    Not her fault people are so averse to change.

  2. cscasi

    September 7, 2019 at 6:11 am

    It is more than time for a change of leadership in her area. Perhaps that will help get Marriott back on its feet and return to the great hotel chain chain it should be.

  3. Sabai

    September 22, 2019 at 9:51 am

    “Through her leadership, Marriott claims to the industry newspaper Marriott Bonvoy membership grew to around 135 million members.“

    OK, so what was the combined total of SPG and MR members under the new program?

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