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Brand Spotlights

The Brand Spotlight Series showcases innovations and solutions to CX challenges, from today’s leading brands.

Marriott International

An interview with Thom McDaniel, Vice President, CEC Product & Site Services at Marriott International.

EITK: Tell us a little about your background and how you came to be at Marriott. What is the day-to-day focus for you in your current role?

Thom McDaniel:

Interestingly, my college background was journalism. At the time, I was interested in communications and always had a curiosity in technology, which progressed into a variety of job opportunities right out of college. I’d say I started in what a lot of people call “the business.” I started my career in sales operations and progressed into some leadership roles around technology initiatives with Ameritech at one point, and then with Novell. As part of my career, I spent the last seven years with eBay. That’s where Andy Yasutake and I worked together prior to coming to Marriott.

Coincidentally, I have a neighbor that was a leader at Marriott, and one day while we were socializing, he mentioned there were a lot of big opportunities they were trying to look at technologically. As we were talking about what I had been doing at eBay, he was like, “Wow, we need to do that at Marriott!” It turns out that he went back to his leadership team, and they reached out to me about helping them make some transitions at Marriott’s Customer Engagement Centers.

At the time, they had been progressively moving toward changing their support model. Marriott’s Customer Engagement Centers started off as Reservation Centers. Their entire job was just to book reservations. It has now become more of a broad customer engagement model where we service things. I had a lot of experience with both Novell and eBay that lent itself well to this Marriott experience. I had been working in Silicon Valley most of my career and thought it was time to venture out into travel and hospitality and venture into a different space.

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The Marriott International Brand Spotlight is featured in the October 2022 Issue of CX Insight magazine.

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