• Carlson Companies suffer family rift

After Hyatt and the Pritzker family feud, another US hospitality dynasty has erupted into lawsuits.

The grandson of the founder of Carlson Companies, Curtis Nelson, is suing the company after being pushed aside from the top job.

The board at the privately owned company formally fired Curtis Nelson at the beginning of this year, banning from its HQ. At the head of the board is Marilyn Carlson Nelson, mother of Curtis and daughter of founder Curt Carlson.

The 43-year old Curtis had been ousted as chief operating officer at Carlson around a year ago. A counter suit by the company explains its actions as due to “erratic business decisions” by Curtis. He has had a long running battle with drink and drug addiction.

Complicating the whole matter is that there is no longer an heir apparent for the company. Marilyn has hung on beyond her originally planned retirement at age 65 and now, at age 67, there is no successor.

Last year, Carlson generated sales of $37.1bn. As well as the Radisson brand, it owns Park Plaza, Regent, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and TGI Friday’s.

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