Cruise Operator Carnival Is Dropping CEO Mickey Arison

micky arison chris bosh at the white houseMickey Arison with the stars of the Miami Heat. Arison owns the team.

Carnival Corp. is replacing Mickey Arison, its CEO for 34 years, after a string of public relations crises have rattled the company in recent months.

Board member Arnold W. Donald will replace Arison, who will stay on as chairman and remain the company’s largest shareholder, the¬†cruise operator said today in a statement.

The last few months have seen little but bad news for Carnival. In February, the ship Triumph was stranded in the Gulf of Mexico for five days, leaving more than 4,000 passengers on board without power and with very few working toilets.

In March, travellers on the Dream complained of similar problems while that ship was in port. That month, the Legend had a technical issue with its sailing speed, forcing Carnival to end its cruise early.

In April, the Triumph broke loose from its port in Alabama while undergoing repairs, further damaging the ship. A week later, the Fascination failed a federal health inspection.

Arison, who became CEO in 1979 and is also an owner of the Miami Heat basketball team, will step down as CEO on July 3. He led the company through a time of expansion, acquiring cruise brands Holland America Line, Costa Cruises, and Cunard.

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