Richard Fain to Step Down as Royal Caribbean Group CEO in 2022
Richard Fain, longtime Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean Group, will step down from his role on January 3, 2022. Mr. Fain has held this position for more than 33 years. Jason Liberty, Royal Caribbean Group Chief Financial Officer, will succeed Fain as CEO and join the Board of Directors. Mr. Fain will continue in his role as the Chair of the Board of Directors for Royal Caribbean Group.
Mr. Fain is the third-longest serving CEO among all current S&P 500 leaders. His storied career has helped to shape the modern cruise industry into what it is today. Under his leadership, he has played an important role in championing numerous aspects of cruising from groundbreaking ship designs, sustainability efforts, and innovative ship features to enrich the cruising experience for guests.
Under his leadership, the Royal Caribbean Group introduced a number of new ship categories that have transformed cruising. These transformational ships include Royal Caribbean International's Sovereign, Voyager, and Oasis classes, Celebrity Cruises' Solstice and Edge classes. Fain has also held a role in Royal Caribbean International’s Icon class (which will be introduced in 2023) and Silversea Cruises' ‘Project Evolution’ that will become the industry's first hybrid-powered ship when introduced in 2023.
According to Royal Caribbean Group’s announcement, Mr. Fain said that the Board of Directors developed a careful succession planning process for when he decided the time was right to step down.
"There are no words to express my admiration and appreciation to the people of the Royal Caribbean Group, who have been the real drivers of our success; and my profound appreciation for the support and guidance of the Board of Directors during good times and bad throughout this long period of sustained growth."
Most recently, Mr. Fain steered Royal Caribbean Group through the global pandemic and was a driving force behind the creation of the Healthy Sail Panel for a safe resumption of cruising. Fain said that with most of the organization’s ships return to cruising and the Group's brands under the leadership of exceptional CEOs, it was the right time to for him 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."
Newly-appointed CEO Jason Liberty joined Royal Caribbean Group in 2005 and served in several financial, strategic, and operational roles before becoming CFO in 2013. Over the years, his duties have expanded well beyond his responsibilities as CFO. He is responsible for Silversea Cruises, the Group's joint ventures with TUI Cruises and Hapag Lloyd Cruises, as well as the Royal Caribbean Group's strategy, technology, supply chain, port operations and legal functions. Naftali Holtz, current senior vice president of finance for the Royal Caribbean Group, will become CFO when Liberty assumes the CEO role.
"Our incredible people and culture, combined with our leading brands and the most innovative fleet in the world are what make our organization so successful. I'm grateful to both the board for selecting me, and to Richard, for his friendship, mentoring and guidance. I look forward to building upon the company's remarkable record in the years ahead," remarked Liberty on his new role.
The Royal Caribbean Group has a global fleet of 60 ships traveling to more than 800 destinations worldwide. The Royal Caribbean Group consists of three global cruise brands, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises, as well as TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, of which the company is a 50% owner in a joint venture.