Global hospitality company Carlson have elected Trudy Rautio as president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. The news comes as former boss Hubert Joly steps down to head up Best Buy.
Rautio is the fifth chief executive to be named at Carlson, the parent company of Radisson, Park Plaza, and Country Inns & Suites, in its 74-year history.
Rautio has been a senior executive with Carlson for 15 years and, for the past eight years, has served as executive vice president and chief financial and administrative officer of Carlson.
In announcing the appointment, Carlson’s chair of the board, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, said, “The Carlson board of directors is extremely pleased to continue the strong momentum that we have been building through Ambition 2015. Carlson is ahead of plan and Trudy is the ideal leader to continue our robust strategies for continued success and profitability.”
She replaces Hubert Joly, who has been president and chief executive officer of Carlson since 2008. Joly resigned from the position to pursue other career opportunities.
Nelson also expressed the Board’s appreciation for Joly’s leadership over the past eight years—four as Carlson’s chief executive officer and, prior to taking the chief executive role, four years as president and chief executive officer of Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) from 2004 to 2008. Nelson noted, “With Hubert Joly’s leadership through some very difficult financial times, Carlson is on strong financial footing. Hubert was hired as Carlson’s first non-family CEO and we are grateful for his contributions to our company.”
Rautio is Carlson’s second female president and chief executive officer. The first was Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Carlson’s current board chair and co-owner. Nelson noted, “Trudy has the full confidence and support of the Carlson family and Board of Directors. We are poised to accelerate our growth and Trudy has the experience, leadership and vision for Carlson’s exciting next chapter.”
In accepting the appointment, Rautio said, “I am honored to accept the leadership role of this dynamic company as Carlson progresses through its Ambition 2015 goals. I am appreciative of the support given to me by the board of directors and the members of the Carlson family and am excited about the future opportunities for each of our businesses.”
Rautio added, “I am also grateful for the support of my colleagues on the current leadership team and look forward to working with our employees, partners and stakeholders around the world.”