Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean Group's longtime CEO, to step down

T1115FAINLIBERTY_C_HR [Credit: Royal Caribbean]
Richard Fain, left, Royal Caribbean Group's longtime CEO. He will step down in January and be succeeded by CFO Jason Liberty. Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean Group

Richard Fain will step down as Royal Caribbean Group CEO on Jan. 3 after 33 years in the role, while remaining chairman of the parent company of Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises.

Royal Caribbean Group's current CFO, Jason Liberty, will succeed him as CEO.   

Fain, who Royal Caribbean said was the third-longest serving CEO among current S&P 500 leaders, will continue his involvement in Royal Caribbean Group's ship construction program. As CEO he's overseen the introduction of the world's largest cruise ships, for Royal Caribbean International, and what will become the industry's first triple-hybrid powered ship, for Silversea.

Fain became CEO in 1988, when the company was comprised only of one brand, Royal Caribbean International. He said Tuesday that with most of the company's ships back in operation, and a full return to cruising approaching, the time was right to step down.

"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," Fain said. "He is a highly versatile and strategic leader who has been integral to all aspects of the company's accomplishments and performance."

Fain will also be interviewed onstage at Travel Weekly's CruiseWorld event Wednesday by editor in chief Arnie Weissmann.

Liberty joined Royal Caribbean Group in 2005 and has been CFO since 2013. His duties include responsibility for Silversea Cruises and the company's joint ventures with European brands TUI Cruises and Hapag Lloyd Cruises, as well as the company's strategy, technology, supply chain, port operations and legal functions.

Naftali Holtz, senior vice president of finance for Royal Caribbean Group, will replace Liberty as CFO when he becomes CEO.

Fain said that Liberty and Holtz had done "an exceptional job organizing over $12 billion of financing during this challenging period. They did so in a remarkably careful and methodical manner, which will serve us well in the years to come."


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