Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sheehan Makes a Splash

Kevin Sheehan 
Steps Down as CEO

Kevin Sheehan, President & CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line resigned from the company.  The announcement was unexpected and comes on the heals of the completion of the acquisition of Prestige Cruises International, which operates two upscale cruise brands, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Frank Del Rio was named by the Board of Directors as the new President and Chief Executive Officer.  He has more than 20 years of cruise industry experience and has served as CEO of Prestige since 2007.  

"Frank Del Rio has established himself as a leader and innovator in our industry," said Steve Martinez, member of Norwegian's Board of Directors. "Norwegian is poised for continued growth and we are delighted to have Frank lead our team during the next phase of the company's evolution. We also thank Kevin Sheehan for his service to the company. Kevin has built Norwegian into the highly successful company it is today – a company that has reported 25 consecutive quarters of growth in trailing twelve month Adjusted EBITDA coupled with consistent margin improvement. Most recently, Kevin was integral to the Prestige acquisition, assembling a diversified portfolio of brands that spans all market segments in the cruise industry, which we believe puts the company in a strong position for the future."
I am excited to begin this new chapter in my long career in the cruise industry," said Mr. Del Rio. "I am blessed with a great team at Norwegian, and I am confident that together we can help our company continue to realize great things."

Reaction to Announcement

 "Cautious optimism" might be the best way to describe consumer reaction to the announcement.   The acquisition of Prestige Cruises had caused some concern that there would be changes in the luxury product after the merger.   With Del Rio now at the helm, one would hope that any change would be positive influence on the contemporary part of the portfolio of the combined company.

Some industry watchers had expressed concern about Del Rio's involvement in the defunct Renaissance Cruise Line.   From our perspective, that is old news,  with his successful co-founding of Oceania Cruises serving as proof that there were lessons learned from the past.

Any way you look at it, this is exciting times for Norwegian Cruises and their guests as changes unfold and their young fleet expands with the arrival of Norwegian Escape later in the year.

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