I did a post a couple of months ago to report some changes at the top of the enlarged NCL empire. Essentially, I reported that the previous President and CEO of NCL Holdings, Kevin Sheehan, was leaving. Sheehan was being succeeded by Frank Del Rio, previously CEO of Prestige Cruises, the umbrella company which owns both Regent Seven Seas and Oceania. NCL Holdings had bought Prestige Cruises during Sheehan’s tenure as President and CEO, so essentially he was being replaced by the man who headed up the company that had been bought. That was a pretty significant shakeup in itself.
Today’s announcement suggests (to me, at least) that there are some rumblings still going on within the enlarged empire. The CEO and President of NCL – the actual cruise line, not NCL Holdings – was a person by the name of Drew Madsen. He was only recruited by NCL in October, and was an industry outsider – he was previously the CEO of a (very) large restaurant business. Now he has also left. The quote from Del Rio, who as the new head of NCL Holdings had become Madsen’s boss, is as follows: “Given the recent restructuring of the role and job responsibilities, Drew has decided to step down. We thank him for his contributions and wish him well“. It sounds to me as if a lot of the operational control of all three lines will rest with Del Rio, the boss of NCL Holdings; he was for a long time the chief operating officer, and subsequently a very hands-on CEO, of Oceania. Perhaps Madsen, the CEO of NCL, was unhappy with a reduced operational role for himself. Madsen is succeeded as President and Chief Operating Officer of NCL by Andy Stewart, who comes from the sales and marketing side of the NCL operation – he has 27 years’ experience with them.
I’m sure it will all settle down soon, but it can’t be good for a big business like NCL to have so many changes of senior management in such a short space of time.