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Carlson appoints Trudy Rautio as President and CEO; Hubert Joly resigns

(Minneapolis/Minnesota, USA – 20 August 2012) The Board of Directors for Carlson, a global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., announced today they have elected Trudy Rautio as president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Rautio is only the fifth chief executive to be named at Carlson in its 74-year history.

Trudy Rautio
Trudy Rautio

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, where she has been 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.

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.”

Biographical Information for Trudy Rautio
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. Trudy 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.

In 2009, Rautio was honored with the CFO of the year award for large, private companies by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal, a Minnesota-based business publication. In addition, she received an inaugural award as one of 2009 Women of Distinction from the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys. In 2007, Rautio was named an Outstanding Alumni of Bemidji State University. In 2005 she was recognized by The Business Journal as a Woman Changemaker. Rautio received the Corporate Woman of achievement award by the National Association of Women Business Owners’ (NAWBO) Minneapolis Chapter in 2004. The NAWBO award recognizes women for their leadership, accomplishments and outstanding contributions to their companies.

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.

In addition to the Carlson-related boards, Rautio also serves on the board of directors for Securian Holding Company and Imation.

She participates in several finance-related organizations including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Institute of Management Accountants, and Financial Executives Institute.

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