July 28, 2009 // Franchising.com // Minneapolis, MN - Carlson, the parent company of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, today announced that Hubert Joly, Carlson President and Chief Executive Officer, will now also personally lead Carlson's hotel business, supported by a global hotel management team.
Carlson also announced the appointment of Thorsten Kirschke as the Chief Operating Officer of Carlson Hotels – Americas. Kirschke will assume his new role on Sept. 1 and report to Joly.
Kirschke comes to Carlson from The Rezidor Hotel Group based in Brussels, Belgium, where he was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Carlson is the main shareholder of Rezidor, which is one of the fastest growing hotel companies in the world.
"Thorsten brings an exceptional background of leadership and management success in the hotel industry to this role. His extensive global experience includes management roles in Russia, Germany, Denmark, Norway, England, United Arab Emirates and China. We are delighted to have him join our team," Joly said.
Joly has been president and CEO of Carlson since March 2008. Prior to that, he was president and CEO of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Carlson's business travel management company.
Carlson also announced that Jay Witzel, who for 22 years has served in senior management positions, including President and CEO at Carlson Hotels Worldwide, will be leaving that position to serve in a consulting role within the hotel company.
The changes support Carlson's strategy to revitalize the Radisson brand in the Americas, and continue to grow its global portfolio of hotel brands as vibrant and contemporary leaders in the industry. Carlson recently announced that it has added 49 properties to its portfolio in the first six months of 2009, bringing its total number of properties to 1,048.