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Royal Caribbean: Richard Fain to step down as CEO in early 2022

Royal Caribbean coronavirus

Royal Caribbean Group’s Richard Fain has decided to step down, effective from 3 January 2022.

The long-serving CEO will be succeeded by Jason Liberty, who is the current chief financial officer (CFO). Fain will continue as chair of the board of directors.

In a statement, the group said that Fain “steered the company through the global pandemic, being the driving force behind the creation of the healthy sail panel, a group of renowned health experts who established safety and wellness protocols to restore confidence in cruising safety”.

Under Fain’s leadership, the Royal Caribbean Group introduced new ship categories, with a “diverse range of amenities and experiences that transformed the nature of cruising”, the statement added.

New ships include Royal Caribbean International’s Sovereign, Voyager, and Oasis classes; Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice and Edge classes; the Royal Caribbean International Icon class to be introduced in 2023; and Silversea Cruises’ Project Evolution, which will become the industry’s first hybrid-powered ship when introduced in 2023.

Fain, working with Liberty, will continue his involvement in the group’s ship construction programme.

Fain said: “Given the great depth and breadth of our leadership, and the positive outlook for our business, this is the appropriate time to step aside and have Jason take over.

“He is a highly versatile and strategic leader, who has been integral to all aspects of the company’s accomplishments and performance.

“Our success as a business has relied heavily on our culture and on the values we hold dear.

“Jason epitomises those values, and I know he will work to build on them in this ever-changing world. I couldn’t be happier to have such a superbly qualified and principled leader succeed me as CEO. Jason will lead the group to new heights.”

Liberty joined Royal Caribbean Group in 2005 and became CFO in 2012. He said: “Our incredible people and culture, combined with our leading brands and the most innovative fleet in the world are what make our organisation so successful.

“I’m grateful to both the board for selecting me, and to Richard, for his friendship, mentoring and guidance. I look forward to building upon the company’s remarkable record in the years ahead.”

Royal Caribbean lead director of the board Bill Kimsey added: “Richard has been a visionary leader, who has made innumerable and remarkable contributions to our company and our industry.

“Most recently, his stewardship during the Covid pandemic marks him as one of the great CEOs of his generation. The cruising community and all of us in the company owe him a debt of gratitude.”

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