Carlson CEO Resigns, Board Selects CFO Trudy Rautio as Replacement

Hubert Joly resigned from the position to take over leadership at Best Buy.

A new CEO is at the helm of Carlson, the global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minnetonka.

The company announced Sunday that they have elected Trudy Rautio as president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. She replaces Hubert Joly, who has been president and chief executive officer of Carlson since 2008. Joly resigned from the position to take the job of CEO for Best Buy.

Rautio is only the fifth chief executive to be named at Carlson in its 74-year history.

Rautio has been a senior executive with Carlson for 15 years. For the past eight years, she has served as executive vice president and chief financial and administrative officer of Carlson, where she has been responsible for directing all financial and information technology operations of the company. 

“The Carlson board of directors is extremely pleased to continue the strong momentum that we have been building through Ambition 2015," said Carlson’s chair of the board, Marilyn Carlson Nelson. "Carlson is ahead of plan and Trudy is the ideal leader to continue our robust strategies for continued success and profitability.”

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.

“With Hubert Joly’s leadership through some very difficult financial times, Carlson is on strong financial footing," Nelson noted. "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.

Prior to joining Carlson, Rautio was senior vice president and chief financial officer of Jostens, Inc., headquartered in Minneapolis. She also served as vice president of finance for Minneapolis-based Pillsbury Co.

A graduate of Bemidji State University, Rautio holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of St. Thomas, Twin Cities. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant.

Carlson operates more than 1,300 hotels, including Radisson and Country Inns & Suites and more than 900 T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants, among other endeavors. Carlson operates in more than 150 countries and territories and its brands employ more than 170,000 people.


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