Carlson Names Gullaksen to Head Radisson

Carlson Hotels Worldwide today announced a key new leadership appointment for Radisson Hotels & Resorts, one of the world`s leading full-service, upscale global hotel brands.  Bjorn Gullaksen, a hospitality veteran with over 20 years in the industry, has been promoted from regional vice president of operations to executive vice president and brand leader.
The appointment was announced today by Jay S. Witzel, president of Carlson Hotels Worldwide.  Witzel said that in his new role, Gullaksen will be the top leader of the Radisson Hotels & Resorts brand, responsible for such areas as the brand culture; serving as the key contact for franchisee and partner relationships; leading orientation, training and field service; and developing brand systems, processes and standards.  Gullaksen will report directly to Witzel.  Radisson, which is Carlson`s largest hotel brand, currently includes more than 430 hotels representing nearly 102,000 guest rooms in 59 countries. 
“As a key executive leader with the Radisson brand for more than five years and previous experience with our development partner Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts in Europe, Bjorn has been a major contributor in helping to define, cultivate and incorporate the brand`s distinctive Genuine Hospitality service culture around the world.  Bjorn has proven leadership skills and the ability to consistently produce results in both domestic and global markets,” said Witzel. “He is the ideal person to lead Radisson`s business strategies to reach the next level of achievement for this successful brand.” 
Most recently, Gullaksen served as regional vice president of operations for the brand where he played a significant leadership role in helping to guide the success of Radisson Hotels & Resorts and working towards operational excellence to achieve total guest satisfaction. 
Gullaksen joined Radisson in 1997 from Radisson SAS Hotels where he served as senior vice president of operations.  He also held a variety of other senior executive and management roles within Radisson SAS.  Prior to this, he worked with Westin Hotels. 
Gullaksen began his career in tourism with Winge Travel Bureau in Norway as a tour guide to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany and Holland, while earning an advanced degree in law from the University of Oslo.  He completed the Advanced General Manager Training at INSEAD, School of Business Administration in Paris, France.  He has also completed the University of Minnesota/Carlson School of Management Executive Program for senior executives involved in strategic business issues. 
Radisson has distinguished itself in the hotel industry through its commitment to delivering personalized service and genuine hospitality.  The Radisson vision is to be a global hotel company distinguished by: great hotels in strategically important locations; being a recognized and trusted brand; building valuable relationships with the guests it serves; and achieving superior financial returns for its owners and investors. 
Carlson Hotels Worldwide is part of Minneapolis, Minn.-based Carlson Hospitality Worldwide, whose operations also include Regent International Hotels; Park Plaza hotels; Country Inns & Suites By Carlson; Park Inn hotels; Radisson Seven Seas Cruises; Carlson Lifestyle Living-Carlson Park; Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, which includes T.G.I. Friday’s and Pick Up Stix; and Provisions, a worldwide procurement company.