Industry publication Cruise Week has profiled the leaders of six major cruise lines, each of whom is a key force in shaping the cruise business. The profiles were created based on the observations of veteran reporters. Open Jaw will present each profile over the next six days.
Carnival Cruise Lines President & CEO Gerald Cahill was once the company’s CFO, and one reporter says his background is key to understanding his work. “He’s very analytical,’ the reporter says. ‘Because of his numbers background that’s how he approaches things.”
When the economy took a dive in 2008, the Cahill-led Carnival was quick to do a deep analysis of passenger sourcing, the reporter says. Because of this, they were ready to act immediately when Europe was starting to look weak. “When they pulled capacity out of Europe, it was way ahead of the market trend.”
The emphasis on research is not coincidental. “If you look at some of the major hirings at Carnival in the past two and a half years, there’s a strong background in financial know-how and analytical skills,” the reporter points out. Those appointments include Ruben Rodriguez (who recently shifted from Executive V.P. of Marketing to Executive V.P. of Ship Operations), Lynn Torrent (recently promoted to Executive V.P. of Sales), and Jim Berra (Senior V.P. and Chief Marketing Officer, overseeing all of the company’s advertising programs, marketing communications, and public relations and digital efforts, including site development for Carnival.com).
“Carnival is far more advanced on the social media front than the competition — they’ve really done a lot,” says another reporter. “Very early on, they focused on research and social trends; they correctly saw social media as something that was an important trend in influencing consumer decisions.”