Letters to the DU editor for July 12, 2007

    57

    Generous family

    I’m writing in response to the letter “Peddling Porn” from the July 10 reader’s forum. I want to make it clear I agree with President Hinckley’s statement. I am not defending the pornography industry nor Marriott International’s decision to provide access to pornography.

    Because Marriott International is a publicly owned corporation, traded on the New York Stock Exchange (Stock symbol: MAR), the company is not run as a small family business. It is run by the board of directors, who are elected by the stockholders (owners). This is how the owners run the company and you are free to buy stock and vote in that election if you want.

    J. Willard Marriott founded the hotel chain, but the family no longer controls it, though the CEO is still J. W. Marriot, Jr.

    Of the 11 members of the board of directors, only two are named Marriott.

    According to CNN, the Marriott family owns only 20 percent of the stock, which means they have the power to elect two directors. Changing that policy is the decision of the board, not the CEO, and I’m sure it would be difficult to convince the board to forgo that much revenue.

    We learn about reality at the Marriott School. If you want to change the hotel chain’s decision, raise the $8.83 billion necessary to buy 51 percent of the stock, so you can elect six directors to change the policy. Don’t call for a boycott of a family who has done so much for our university.

    Brian Suker
    Brigham City

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