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Bill Marriott, chairman and chief executive of Marriott International, spoke at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business on Monday about his company’s philosophy of taking care of employees because then they will take care of customers and then the customers will keep coming back.

He said the commitment probably traces its roots to the day when his father ran a root beer stand and one of the employees failed to show up, so his dad had to get behind the counter all day. What did his father do for employees? “He put in a health-care system in 1935. He hired a doctor, put him on the payroll, this was the Depression. . . In 1940 a lot of them [employees] needed surgery, so he put a surgeon on the payroll.”

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