NLGs Gowell: Dans the man

Aaron Gowell, CEO of mega-cruise retailer NLG, said that Dan Hanrahan, who was a propelling force behind Royal Caribbeans popular Get Out There TV advertising campaign, is an excellent fit for Celebrity Cruises.

I think its a great move to put Dan in charge of the Celebrity brand. He was the real thought leader behind [Royal Caribbeans] campaign.

He was the one who created the push for showing the cruise experience outside the ship, Gowell added. -- R.T.

MIAMI -- Royal Caribbean Cruises drew up a new flowchart last week, creating separate presidency positions for its Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises brands and tapping two of its veterans, Adam Goldstein and Dan Hanrahan, to fill the posts.

They will report to Jack Williams, who for the past three years had acted as president for both brands. Williams now takes the title of president and COO of the parent company, Royal Caribbean Cruises.

Goldstein, an executive vice president at the company, takes over as president of Royal Caribbean International. Hanrahan, who joined the company six years ago and was its senior vice president of sales and marketing, becomes the president of Celebrity.

The creation of separate brand presidents appears to be RCCLs latest move to give Royal Caribbean and Celebrity separate identities.

The lines sales and marketing operations, which were merged after the company bought Celebrity, have slowly been split up since 2002, when RCCL created brand-specific district sales managers for its top-producing travel agencies. New sales-and-marketing executives were added on the Celebrity side and separate sales teams were created in 2004.

Several in the industry said the move on the Royal Caribbean side wasnt surprising.

This is great for Celebrity. Dan is a very shrewd marketer, said Vicki Freed, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Carnival Cruise Lines. Theyre saying [they] really could use that kind of branding at Celebrity.

Goldstein has held several positions during his 16 years with the company and is seen by some as a future candidate for the top job. He already had been overseeing the Royal Caribbean brand, while Williams spent the bulk of his time managing Celebrity.

Celebrity, which has struggled to build a brand identity and maintain premium-market yields, will be the line to watch, said one industry insider.

Goldstein will continue to handle supply-chain management and the Royal Celebrity Tours department. Hanrahan will continue to handle marketing and sales for Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia/Pacific.

To contact reporter Rebecca Tobin, send e-mail to [email protected].

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