Leaked email reveals Carnival CEO's message to employees after the company announced mass layoffs and pay cuts

Lynne Sladky/Associated PressCarnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald.
  • Carnival Corp. announced company-wide layoffs, furloughs, and pay cuts on Thursday.
  • The moves came two months into a cruise-industry shutdown caused by the spread of COVID-19.
  • Carnival CEO Arnold Donald sent an email to the company’s employees explaining the decision.
  • Carnival did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
  • Are you a current or recent employee of Carnival or another cruise company? Do you have an opinion on how your company or the industry as a whole has handled the coronavirus? Email this reporter at [email protected]. You can also reach out on Signal at 646-768-4712 or email this reporter’s encrypted address at [email protected].
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Carnival Corp. on Thursday announced company-wide layoffs, furloughs, and pay cuts in response to the impact of COVID-19, which has shut down the cruise industry since March.

CarnivalCEO Arnold Donald sent an email to the company’s employees explaining the decision. Business Insider obtained a copy of the email.

You can read Arnold’s full message below:

To all shoreside team members,

In late March, I shared with you our intent to minimise the financial impact on each of you from the COVID-19 pandemic, if possible, through June. While many other companies in their efforts to ensure their survival took early actions in workforce reductions and pay cuts, we protected our employee base while doing everything in our power to give our company the best chance going forward. While maintaining our focus on compliance, environmental protection, and health and safety, that has included tightening down to only necessary expenses, repatriating crews, terminating contractors, deferring most capital expenses, slowing down shipbuilding, eliminating stock dividends, eliminating senior executive cash salary payments, and mortgaging the majority of our fleet in order to raise cash and boost liquidity.

We have always operated under the principle of planning for the worst and hoping for the best. Unfortunately, it is clear that we must prepare for this pause to last longer than any of us would like, with no real certainty at to a partial restart date.

That brings me to where we are today and an extremely difficult decision – the need to further lower our outgoing cashflow by reducing our shoreside workforce. This reduction will include a combination of job eliminations and furloughs, and for those employees remaining, either a reduction of hours or salary reductions. This is a very difficult and painful decision for me to make knowing the serious impact this will have on so many of you. I make this decision knowing our best plan forward is to be in a position to ride out this adversity – in order to rise again as a vibrant firm that can call back those on furlough, restore salaries and bonuses, and regenerate the positive economic impact we have on so many of our other stakeholders that depend on our company.

To those leaving us through job eliminations, there are no real words to adequately thank you for your dedication and service, be it months of service or decades. Hopefully severance will lessen the impact somewhat, but I am encouraged by the knowledge that the talent and skills that have kept you here will continue to serve you well in the future no matter what you choose to do.

To those of you on furlough, you will continue to keep full health benefits, with the employee-paid portion being paid by the company. Your fate is not one of unimportance or under-performance, it is rather one of simply being in a role that is not needed during an extended total shutdown of our guest cruise operations. We hope to recall you as soon as we can, when we are sailing once again.

And to those of you remaining, we know you too are sharing in the sacrifice of the reductions necessary, until the time we can once again get on more solid footing. For some of you your sacrifice is two-fold, working even longer hours than normal. You are now the caretakers of our brands and company, and we will count on you to help us through the pause in guests operations and the eventual restart.

As a company, as leadership, and as employees, we have an obligation to do everything possible to give ourselves the best chance to operate once again as the greatest leisure travel company in the world – to once again deliver unmatched, joyful vacations to our guests and to exceed their expectations, and to continue to protect the environment in all that we do and to protect and care for each other as best we can in the months ahead.

My deepest appreciation and thanks to each and every one of you for all that you have contributed and for all that you have been through. These are not the easiest or best of times. But there will be brighter days ahead when this difficult period shall pass and eventually be in our rear-view mirror. In the meantime, focus on your well-being, stay safe, protect your loved ones, and know I will do everything I can to see us through to that day where indeed we can once again set sail. Thank you.

Arnold

Are you a current or recent employee of Carnival or another cruise company? Do you have an opinion on how your company or the industry as a whole has handled the coronavirus? Email this reporter at [email protected]. You can also reach out on Signal at 646-768-4712 or email this reporter’s encrypted address at [email protected].

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