Carnival Corp. tapped Gus Antorcha as president of Holland America Line, effective immediately. 

Antorcha replaces Orlando Ashford, who stepped down at the end of May after five years at Holland America Line’s helm.

Gus Antorcha
Gus Antorcha

Antorcha previously was Carnival Cruise Line’s COO and had been with Carnival for more than nine years, serving as its executive vice president of guest services and senior vice president of guest commerce prior to becoming COO. Antorcha spent 10 months as CEO of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment in 2019 before returning to Carnival.

Prior to his arrival at Carnival, Antorcha was partner and managing director for Boston Consulting Group.

Antorcha will report directly to Stein Kruse, group CEO of Holland America Group and Carnival UK. Kruse said that he had worked often with Antorcha during his time at Carnival, saying that “he brings extensive experience in many disciplines within the cruise and travel business.” 

“Gus always demonstrates strategic vision, fiscal awareness and superior leadership with a keen ability to keep his eye on the end result to ensure success,” said Kruse. “These are unprecedented times, and his wisdom and competent judgement will ensure Holland America Line’s long-term success.”

Neil Palomba, currently president of Costa Cruises, will become executive vice president and COO of Carnival Cruise Line. He will report directly to Carnival president Christine Duffy. Michael Thamm, group CEO of Costa Group & Carnival Asia, will add president to his title.

Palomba has led Costa since 2015 and prior to that was senior vice president of hotel operations and guest experience. Before Costa, he spent two decades with MSC Cruises, rising to the position of corporate operating officer. 

Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald said that the company is using the pause in operations “to evaluate every aspect of our business, including our leadership structures, and make changes where appropriate to improve our business. Gus and Neil are both proven and strategic leaders within our organization, and we are looking forward to their contributions and success in these new roles as we position our company and our brands for a bright future.”

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