On the same day they announced their second quarter earnings, Carnival Corporation & plc, parent company of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Ibero Cruises, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK), announced that it was splitting roles of Chairman & CEO.
Micky Arison will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of the company and Arnold W. Donald, a highly experienced and respected business leader who has served on the company's board for the past 12 years, will assume the CEO role effective July 3.
According to the press release, In his role as chairman, Arison will continue to provide board level oversight for the company and will remain the company's largest shareholder. Donald will lead the executive team, initially focusing on achieving the company's long-term strategic goals while working directly with the operating brand executives. Frank will continue to serve in his current role as vice chairman and COO of the company, supporting Donald in working with the corporate level executive team. The move has received unanimous approval from the company's nominating and governance committee as well as the full board of directors.
"I have been discussing this with the board for some time now and feel the timing is right to align our company with corporate governance best practices and turn over the reins after 34 years as CEO," said Arison. "Arnold is an exceptional professional with extensive experience in organizational leadership who will bring a fresh perspective to the company. I have come to value and rely on his judgment and insight during the 12 years he has served on the company's board and I am very confident in his ability to move the organization forward." Arison added, "As chairman, I will still be working closely with Arnold to ensure a great future for all our stakeholders."
As you are quite aware Carnival Corporation has been in the news quite a lot the past two years starting with the January, 2012 Costa Concordia disaster in Italy and continuing this year with disabled ships following a fire and other propulsion problems. Carnival has responded with a $300M project to improve reliability and safety of its vessels.
"I am honored and privileged to have this opportunity to lead the next stage of growth for Carnival Corporation & plc," said Donald. "As a board member, I have come to know Micky, Howard and the company well. I have a first-hand appreciation of what it has taken to develop this highly successful business, an understanding for the dynamics and challenges we face, and a great deal of confidence in the company's management team and their ability to execute. I have enormous respect for Micky as a visionary in our industry, and as the builder and leader of Carnival. I have come to know many of the talented professionals who work within Carnival during my time on the board and I look forward to working with the company's many stakeholders including our 90,000 employees, 10 million guests, thousands of travel agent partners, vendors and shareholders around the globe."Arison remains the company's largest shareholder, which signals his continued efforts to help Carnival Corporation rebuild the company's image and take it to new levels in the industry.