Less than five months after Arnold Donald became the new CEO of Carnival Corporation, major changes are taking place at the executive levels of the company’s largest American brands, along with a significant corporate restructuring. The simultaneous announcements were made November 4th, becoming effective on December 1, 2013.
Jan Swartz has been promoted to president of Princess Cruises. Prior to her new role, Swartz was executive vice president, sales, marketing and customer service, since January 2009, having previously served as senior vice president of customer service and sales for both the Princess and Cunard brands since 2004. In 2001, she was appointed the company’s vice president of strategy and business development, and worked on the P&O Princess/Carnival corporate acquisition. In a written statement to the travel trade, Ms. Swartz stated, “I am incredibly honored to be selected to serve our company, employees, passengers, travel agent partners and shareholders in my new capacity… As the largest premium brand in the industry, the future looks very bright for Princess Cruises. I look forward to leading our team as we build on the momentum we have achieved to become an even stronger and more sought-after brand.”
Jan Swartz will head up Princess Cruises worldwide operations which includes 17 ships, and 22,000 employees serving more than 1.4 million passengers annually. Princess Cruises has sales, marketing and operational efforts in over 60 countries around the world. Beyond North America Princess has been at the forefront of establishing itself in Europe, Australia and most recently Japan and China.
The newly formed Holland America Group will include Princess Cruises in their portfolio of companies. The expanded division also includes Holland America Line, Seabourn Cruise Line and Holland America/Princess Alaska land operations. The new Holland America Group operates a combined total of 41 cruise ships with over 36,000 employees worldwide. Stein Kruse, currently president and CEO of Holland America Line, is being appointed CEO of the Holland America Group, adding to his current responsibilities of Holland America Line and Seabourn.
Further expanding his role, and also effective December 1, Kruse will replace Micky Arison as chairman of the board of MANCO, the UK-based entity which oversees operations of Carnival Australia including P&O Cruises, the number one cruise line in the Australian market. Kruse will report to Carnival Corporation & plc president and CEO Arnold Donald. Jan Swartz will report to Kruse. In her written statement she addressed how the corporate restructuring will affect Princess Cruises; “Stein Kruse has conveyed to me his support and admiration of the Princess brand and team, and he has emphasized his commitment to continue building on our strong foundation. As such, I want to communicate very clearly that there is absolutely no intention to combine our two brands. In fact, our work together will focus on how to keep them as unique and distinct as possible. I look forward to working with Stein, who is an experienced and dynamic leader, as we focus our team to take Princess Cruises to the next level of success and growth.” Kruse joined Holland America Line in Seattle in 1999 as senior vice president, fleet operations with overall responsibility for operations and new ship construction. In 2003, he was named president and chief operating officer, and on December 1, 2004, he became their CEO. In January 2011, he was named chairman of Seabourn and the corporate headquarters transitioned from Miami to Seattle.
Alan Buckelew, the current President & CEO of Princess Cruises will become Chief Operations Officer of Carnival Corporation & plc. In his newly promoted capacity, Mr. Buckelew will have oversight of all maritime and port operations around the world for the Carnival Group, including information technology; group strategy and global operations; ship retrofits; newbuilds; research and development; risk advisory; and quality assurance. Additionally, he will have oversight of Carnival Asia, with responsibility for coordinating all the various cruise brands and related activities in that part of the world. Alan Buckelew is a native Southern Californian, born in Long Beach. He holds an MBA and bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. With a career spanning more than 36 years in the cruise industry, Buckelew has served as chief executive officer of Princess Cruises since June 2007 and as the line’s president since February 2004. In addition he also served as chief operating officer for Cunard Line from 2004 to 2007.
Although his name may not be among the most recognizable, Howard Frank has probably done as much as anyone to create the modern cruise industry. Over 25 years, he has reshaped Carnival into the powerhouse it is today. Howard Frank will be stepping down from his current roles as vice chairman and chief operating officer of Carnival Corporation. He will remain available as special advisor to Carnival CEO Arnold Donald, and to Micky Arison, chairman of the board. Frank will continue to represent the industry in his current role as chairman of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). When Howard Frank joined Micky Arison at Carnival Corporation, the company had 14 ships carrying 785,000 guests annually, generating $1.1 billion in revenue. Today, Carnival’s 10 brands host over 10 million guests per year on more than 100 ships, generating over $15 billion in revenue. Micky Arison, said of his long-time associate, “For the last 25 years, Howard and I have worked side by side and I could not have asked for a better business partner. I am looking forward to his continued contributions in his new role.” Arnold Donald added, “Howard truly is a pioneer in our industry and he leaves an unequaled legacy at Carnival Corporation & plc.” Under the new corporate structure and with the leadership of these individuals, they will no doubt continue to reshape and expand the world of cruising.
Shawn J. Dake, freelance travel writer and regular contributor to MaritimeMatters, worked in tourism and cruise industry for over 35 years. A native of Southern California, his first job was as a tour guide aboard the Queen Mary. A frequent lecturer on ship-related topics he has appeared on TV programs. Owner of Oceans Away Cruises & Travel agency, he served as President of the local Chapter of Steamship Historical Society of America. With a love of the sea, he is a veteran of 115 cruises.