Marriott International Inc. said Tuesday that Robert McCarthy, chief operations officer of the hotel company, will retire early next year.

McCarthy, 60, has worked for Marriott for 38 years, beginning his career as a waiter in a Marriott restaurant outside Philadelphia while attending Villanova University. He worked his way up through the system and was appointed to his current position in late 2011.

He plans to retire at the end of February 2014. McCarty said he is exploring other hospitality-related business opportunities, including hotel ownership.

Marriott’s President and CEO Arne Sorenson said that McCarty is an admired business leader, sought-after mentor and trusted colleague, whose career success is a credit to his hard work but also an example of the vitality of the company’s culture that promotes opportunity.

The company also said that several other executives will assume broader responsibilities.

Dave Grissen, group president, will focus on global operations as well as overseeing the Americas. He will oversee several other company leaders.

Stephanie Linnartz, recently appointed executive vice president and chief brand marketing and commercial officer for Marriott, will assume leadership of technology. Bruce Hoffmeister, global chief information officer, will join her team.

Marriott, based in Bethesda, Md., has more than 3,800 properties in 72 countries. Its shares increased 27 cents to $43.27 in afternoon trading, in line with market activity.

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