Our cover story last week looked
at an industrywide employment concern: the need for qualified
travel agents. In our classifieds section of the same issue was a
full-page employment ad that suggested the search for industry
talent is not limited to the agency community.
In wording as
modest, demure and nuanced as the bright orange hue that coats his
planes, ships and hotels, Stelios, the founder of EasyJet,
announced that he is seeking a CEO for his latest venture, EasyCruise.com.
other of his EasyGroup ventures, offers economical alternatives to
established components of travel. EasyJet, for instance, brings
very low fares to intra-Europe routes, usually landing at secondary
or tertiary airfields. EasyHotel has two bare-bones (but well
located!) hotels in Basel, Switzerland and London, offering rooms
at slightly higher rates than a youth hostel.
EasyCruise offers a
vacation experience for independently minded travelers with the
simple but significant difference ... that the ship spends only a
few hours each day at sea and is in port every night, according to
the help-wanted ad.
The cruise industry
is consolidated to the point where, in every instance I can think
of, CEOs were known entities before getting their jobs. I can
imagine that each was approached discreetly by the lines owners to
see if he was interested in the position and that most vacancies
were filled before other potential candidates even knew there was a
All of this is a
roundabout way of saying that Ive given it some serious thought,
and Id like to go ahead and express my interest in the
employment opportunities are two-way streets, and yes, Stelios, you
should know that Ive done some due diligence. I have read this ad
thoroughly to ensure that there is a good fit between myself and
Of course, your ad
contains all the standard blah-blah-blah about full P&L
responsibility and delivering against a five-year growth plan, but
what I find especially intriguing about this position is contained
in this sentence: The main base of the company will be in Monaco,
but frequent trips to London and Miami may be necessary.
As it turns out,
primary among my long-term career goals is a home in Monte Carlo
and frequent trips to London. Miami is lovely, too, of course, and
we can discuss that further, but if my instincts are to be trusted,
we are simpatico!
You state that the
ideal candidate will have at least 10 years of experience at a
successful cruise line, preferably with full P&L
responsibility. I know you value candor, Stelios, and so I will be
forthright and tell you that this is where Im a little
But I can assure
you that I will hire a very strong second-in-command, and on those
occasions when P&L is important, it will be handled
responsibly. Dont you worry!
In fact, another
factor that makes me think this could be a good fit is that it says
I would report to you, and that you have 14 other businesses to
oversee. It has been my experience that I have had the greatest
longevity in positions where my bosses have many other pressing
concerns. Somehow, that environment seems to work in my
Finally, you state
that a willingness to think outside the box is essential, and here
I can give you full assurance that, when it comes to thinking, I am
virtually boxless. From the time I was very young, teachers have
been quick to point out that mine is a mind that wanders. In
countless jobs, superiors have taken note that my comments are not
merely outside the box, they are beside the point.
You ask that I
e-mail a brief statement as to why EasyCruise.com will
be successful, along with my curriculum vitae. Is this, perhaps
your first test on outside-the-box thinking?
Let the other
candidates follow conventions and do as they are told, but not
Stelios, I am