A new era at Carlson

By Deanne Stone

This past May, Marilyn Carlson Nelson retired as board chair of Carlson, the global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis and one of the world’s largest privately owned companies. Marilyn, 75, the daughter of legendary company founder Curt Carlson, was succeeded by her daughter, Diana Nelson.

Less than a year earlier, in August 2012, the company named Trudy Rautio as its president and CEO. Rautio, 59, has been with the company for 15 years.

Carlson is unusual in having women in its two top leadership positions; by contrast, only 21 of the Fortune 500 companies have women CEOs. Moreover, four of Carlson’s 11 directors are women. About 40% of the company’s executives, and half of its global staff, are female.

September/October 2013


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