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Carlson makes leadership changes

Carlson Hotels Worldwide is set to make two key appointments in its senior leadership team.Bj¿rn Gullaksen, formerly executive vice president of Full Service Hotels, has been named executive vice president of Managed Hotels & Resorts. Also, Nancy Johnson, who served as executive vice president of Select Service Hotels, was named executive vice president of Full Service Hotels. Both Gullaksen and Johnson directly report to Yvonne La Penotiere, president of Carlson Hotels Worldwide-The Americas, who announced these changes.

The company’s full-service brands include Regent International Hotels, Radisson Hotels & Resorts and Park Plazasm Hotels & Resorts; select- service brands are Country Inns & Suites By Carlsonsm and Park Inn. Johnson will continue to oversee the select-service brands until a new leader is named.

“Both Bjorn and Nancy are veteran, highly valued leaders in Carlson Hotels Worldwide,” said La Penotiere. “They have consistently demonstrated their abilities to implement our vision and strategy while growing our brands for sustained success. Bjorn’s appointment to lead our managed hotels and resorts portfolio takes advantage of his wealth of operational experience. Nancy’s exceptional performance with our select-service brands makes her the ideal choice for assuming the full-service leadership role,” La Penotiere added.

As executive vice president of Managed Hotels & Resorts, Gullaksen is responsible for leading the Carlson Hotels managed portfolio which includes 29 properties under the brands of Radisson, Park Plaza and Country Inn, and an executive retreat in Northern Wisconsin.

Before his appointment to executive vice president and brand leader for Radisson Hotels & Resorts in 2002, Gullaksen was a regional vice president of operations for Radisson Hotels & Resorts. In other experience he served as senior vice president of operations for Brussels-based Rezidor SAS Hospitality, Carlson’s partner in the EMEA. He also held a variety of other senior executive and management roles with Radisson SAS, which is part of Rezidor.


As executive vice president of Full Service Hotels, Johnson will lead the overall strategy of the company’s full service brands, particularly Radisson and Park Plaza. In this role, she serves as the brand champion for franchisee and partner relationships, leads implementation of new programs and services plus oversees the development of brand systems, processes and standards.

Prior experience at Carlson includes service as executive vice president of Select Service, senior vice president of Development, vice president of Development and senior director of Franchise Development for the mid-tier lodging chain of Country Inns & Suites By Carlson.