Private equity firm Blackstone Group purchased the company; Nassetta was brought in to turn it around. Nassetta moved the headquarters from Beverly Hills, California to the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C. There was a massive bloodletting: of the 600 headquarters employees, only 130 moved east. "If you want to change a culture, you change 80 percent of the people," he says. "We had lost touch with the front line." So Nassetta and his senior executives started spending one week each year working at hotels--in housekeeping, engineering and the front desk. "Their job is harder than your job," Nassetta says. "You get in there, and you pay them the respect." Get the full story at