Carlson Names Hubert Joly CEO, Begins CWT CEO Search - Business Travel News

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Carlson Names Hubert Joly CEO, Begins CWT CEO Search

January 08, 2008 - 12:00 AM ET

Carlson chairman and CEO Marilyn Carlson Nelson today announced that she will step down as CEO on March 1 and named current Carlson Wagonlit Travel president and CEO Hubert Joly as the new president and CEO of the company. Joly is the fourth CEO at the company in its 70-year history and is the first non-family member to hold the post.

Meanwhile, CWT has begun a search for Joly's replacement to lead the travel management company. Carlson Nelson, who served as CEO for 10 years, will remain chairman of the board. Her brother-in-law, Edwin Gage, and her father, Curtis Carlson, preceded her in the CEO position.

Joly will lead the Minneapolis-based Carlson, which has controlling ownership stakes in companies including Carlson Hotels Worldwide, TMC Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Carlson Restaurants Worldwide and Carlson Marketing.

Joly joined CWT in 2004, following roles at Vivendi Universal Games, Electronic Data Systems Europe and management consulting firm McKinsey & Co.

"After an extensive internal and external search, our board of directors unanimously agreed that Hubert has the business acumen, leadership qualities and global experience to lead our company to the next level of growth and excellence," Nelson said. "We are extremely pleased and proud that Hubert has accepted the opportunity to carry forward Carlson's strategy to expand our brands and operations around the world."

Joly was not considered until late in the 15-month search for a successor, according to Nelson. The search committee consisted of independent contractor, board member and former Carlson CEO Gage and board member Diana Nelson.

"Hubert was not initially in the consideration set because he was CEO of a global company that we own 55 percent of and it is growing dramatically," Nelson told BTN. "It was later in the process, as we looked at the various skill sets of the candidates that we had from around the world and we narrowed it down, that we started to realize that if our partners would consider it and Hubert would consider it that he should be a candidate. He fit the criteria and was an experienced CEO with a demonstrated track record."

While Joly would not indicate if CWT North America president Jack O'Neill is a candidate to become CEO of the TMC, Joly acknowledged O'Neill's accomplishments, including overseeing growth in the region's sales from $2.5 billion in 2003 to a projected $8.6 billion in 2007.

Last month, CWT promoted O'Neill from the regional COO position he held since August 2004.

"We looked at the growth of CWT on North America from before Jack's time until now and it has quadrupled the size of CWT North America," Joly told BTN. "He has brought so much customer focus and business sense and built such a strong team for us in North America that Marilyn and I can only say what good things Jack has done for us in North America and he has been such a great member of our global team."
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