09 January 2008

Changing of the guard at Carlson Companies - sort of.

In a somewhat emotional ceremony this week Marilyn Carlson Nelson stepped down from the day to day management of the group (one of the largest privately run operational businesses in the USA) in favor of long time trusted CEO of the CC/Accor Joint Venture CarlsonWagonLit - Hubert Jolly.

She gave a long interview to Travel Weekly's Arnie Weissman - http://www.travelweekly.com/articles.aspx?articleid=59873
It is interesting to note somewhat poignantly how there wont be a family member at the helm. Curtis Nelson - her son an one time presumed heir - is now involved in an acrimonious battle for his birthright. At the same time he seems - according to interpreting news reports - to be out of control with at least one drink driving arrest. Having worked with both of them this is not such a surprise.

What is a surprise is how Jolly has become such a trusted advisor and a welcome addition to her personal team. Don't look for Marilyn to go away anytime soon but she will be pushing back from the day to day. In due time we shall see more pieces of Carlson become public and a bigger growth pattern as Jolly makes his personal mark on the business

Good luck to both Marilyn and Hubert. It is good to see a transition of this sort. Others should take note.

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