We have shown earlier that overexpression of Calreticulin (CRT) contributed to a poor prognosis for patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Here, we have shown an important role of CRT in tumorigenesis through enhancing cell motility and anoikis resistance. SiRNA-mediated knockdown of CRT caused impaired cell migration, invasion and resistance to anoikis. Notably, CRT downregulation decreased the expression of Cortactin (CTTN), which has been previously reported as a candidate oncogene associated with anoikis through the PI3K-Akt pathway. In addition, Akt phosphorylation was abolished after CRT downregulation and its activation can be refreshed by CRT upregulation, suggesting that CRT-enhanced cell resistance to anoikis through the CRT-CTTN-PI3K-Akt pathway. Moreover, the CTTN mRNA level was decreased in CRT-siRNA cells, coupled with the inactivation of STAT3. Expression of both CTTN and p-STAT3 was reduced in tumor cells following incubation with the JAK-specific inhibitor, AG490. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay showed direct binding of p-STAT3 to the conservative STAT3-binding sequences in CTTN promoter. Furthermore, overexpression of CTTN in CRT-downregulated ESCC cells restored its motility and resistance to anoikis. This study not only reveals a role of CRT in motility promotion and anoikis resistance in ESCC cells, but also identifies CRT as an upstream regulator in the CRT-STAT3-CTTN-Akt pathway.