The replacement of Carnival Corp’s CEO Mickey Arison, announced yesterday by the cruise ship operator, has nothing to do with a recent string of public relations crises and weak bookings numbers, incoming chief Arnold Donald said in an interview today on CBS This Morning.
Arison served as CEO for 34 years. He will step down on July 3 but remain chairman, as well as the company’s largest shareholder.
Donald said Arison had delayed the splitting of the chairman and CEO roles to deal with a series of problems on board its ships, most notably the engine fire on the Triumph, which left more than 4,000 passengers stranded in the Gulf of Mexico for five days without power and with few working toilets.
Replacing Arison as CEO is not an effort to put that bad publicity behind Carnival, Donald said.
“I could understand the juxtaposition of the time frames, and Micky had been considering this for a long time and actually delayed it because of the incidents. But he really, after 34 years, and in good governance practice in the UK and trends here in the U.S., felt it was important to separate the roles.”
Asked by CBS travel editor Peter Greenberg how the company is dealing with “somewhat flat” bookings, Donald noted “the value that exists today,” referring to deeply discounted fares, including four night cruises on sale for just $179.
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