Carlson, a global hospitality and travel company and parent company of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, has announced that Trudy Rautio, president and chief executive officer, will retire from the company effective May 1, 2015, after 18 years of service. During Rautio’s tenure as Carlson CEO, the company achieved key milestones including launching two new hotel brands with Radisson Red and Quorvus Collection; the sale of the iconic TGI Fridays brand as well as acquiring 100 percent ownership of Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), a leading business travel management company.
“We are grateful for Trudy’s many contributions over nearly two decades of service at Carlson, she has been a key figure in the success of this company,” said Diana Nelson, chair of the Carlson board. “Trudy has also been a respected role model and leader for our industry, and a staunch supporter of key travel and tourism issues, including combatting human trafficking, workforce development, and job creation.”
Following Rautio’s retirement, Carlson will implement a new leadership structure to reflect the company’s focus on two, key business platforms: travel and hospitality. This new organizational structure will provide dedicated chief executive officers for each of these respective platforms. This succession plan reflects the re-shaping of the Carlson portfolio following the divestiture of the restaurants business and has been thoughtfully developed by the Carlson board along with Rautio.
Effective May 1, David P. Berg, chief operating officer of Carlson will be promoted and assume duties as chief executive officer for Carlson Hospitality reporting to the Carlson board. Berg will have responsibility for leading and managing the global hotel business and also assumes responsibility for the Carlson corporate center and its functions.
In 2014, Carlson acquired the 45 percent equity interest from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (“JPMC”) indirectly held in CWT, based in Paris, France. As a result of this acquisition, Carlson today owns 100 percent of CWT with the Carlson board governing this business platform. Effective May 1, Doug Anderson, president and CEO of CWT, will report directly to the Carlson board of directors.
“As Carlson begins this new chapter in our company’s 77-year history, the Carlson board of directors, the family shareholders and I are confident that Doug Anderson and David Berg, operating in the new structure, will provide outstanding leadership to sustain Carlson’s growth and performance.”