Carlson Companies went out of the family, but not far, to name its new CEO. This morning, the private Minneapolis-based hospitality and marketing conglomerate, elevated Hubert Joly to president and chief executive officer, effective Mar. 1. The 48-year-old, French-born Joly is currently chief executive of Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Marilyn Carlson Nelson will become chairman of the company following the transition.
In many ways, it was a bitter pill for the Carlsons to appoint the first non-family member to run the company in its 70-year history. The company has also been fighting the personal pain and bad PR associated with its somewhat-public legal spat with Curtis Nelson, Marilyn's son and grandson of founder Curt Carlson. Curtis, the one-time heir apparent to the top job, left the company two years ago after realizing he wasn't going to become CEO. He has since sued the company and his mother.