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Marriott, Hyatt form online hotel supply venture

Rival hotel chains Marriott International Inc. (MAR.N) and Hyatt Corp. on
Tuesday said they plan to jointly form an independent company to provide the
hotel industry with supplies online.

The companies, which said their hotels buy about $5 billion annually in
supplies such as soap and ice machines, said they plan for other hotel
companies to join the venture, which will initially focus on the North
American market.

“Marriott and the industry are embracing the ‘new economy’ by finding
faster, more efficient ways to serve our customers,” Marriott chief
executive J.W. Marriott Jr. said in a statement. ”This is a huge step in
the right direction for all of us.”

Marriott and Hyatt said an executive search firm has begun to identify
candidates to serve as chief executive of the new company. Marriott
executive vice president Dennis Baker has been named chief operating officer
of the venture.

The yet-to-be named venture is scheduled to start operating later in 2000,
the companies said.

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