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Carlson appoints first non-family CEO

Global travel, hotel, restaurant and marketing giant Carlson has appointed the firm's first non-family CEO in its 70-year history. Hubert Joly, current president and CEO of Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), in which Carlson has a majority stake, will become the company's new CEO on 1 March 2008. He will succeed company co-owner Marilyn Carlson Nelson (pictured), who will continue as Carlson's chairman.

"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."

The role of CEO had been previously coveted by Marilyn's son, Curtis Carlson Nelson. There is an ongoing lawsuit between Curtis and his mother, as he reportedly believes he was wrongly denied the position. He had previously held the role of COO but a restructuring of the company left him without a job. He sued his mother in May 2007. Marilyn's countersuit reportedly says that the company did not believe Curtis was capable of running the business.

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