Carlson Names Rautio President & CEO After Joly’s Surprise Resignation
By James Shillinglaw
August 19, 2012 9:42 PM
Carlson, in a surprise announcement that came late on Aug. 19, said its board of directors has elected Trudy Rautio as president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Rautio takes over following the surprise resignation of Hubert Joly, who had served as president and CEO since 2009 and had been with Carlson since eight years. Joly resigned to pursue other opportunities, according to Carlson.
Rautio, only the fifth chief executive to be named at Carlson, the Minneapolis-based travel and hospitality company, in its 74-year history, 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 was responsible for directing all financial and information technology operations of the company. She serves on the boards of Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) and The Rezidor Hotel Group, Carlson’s majority-owned hotel group in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
“The Carlson board of directors is extremely pleased to continue the strong momentum that we have been building through Ambition 2015,” said Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Carlson’s chair of the board. “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 Carlson 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,” she said. “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. “Trudy has the full confidence and support of the Carlson family and board of directors,” Nelson said. “We are poised to accelerate our growth and Trudy has the experience, leadership and vision for Carlson’s exciting next chapter.”
Prior to her current position, Rautio served as president of Carlson Hotels Worldwide-the Americas, with overall responsibility for the operation and growth of the company’s five hotel brands in North and South America. The brands include Regent Hotels & Resorts; Radisson Hotels & Resorts; Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts; Country Inns & Suites By Carlson; and Park Inn. She also oversaw support areas for the organization; including management services, sales, marketing and distribution, human resources, public relations, technology, finance, and planning and acquisitions.
Previously, Rautio served a dual role as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Carlson Consumer Group plus chief administrative officer of Carlson Hospitality Worldwide. 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.