MIAMI — One of the best-known and much-appreciated cruise line executives is stepping down from his post as CEO effective January 2022, however he will stay on as Chairman.
Royal Caribbean Group’s Richard Fain says he plans to pass the CEO torch to the company’s current Chief Financial Officer, Jason Liberty, on Jan. 3, 2022.
For the past 33 years Fain has charted the course of one of the world’s largest cruise companies, which currently encompasses Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises, which the company first bought into in 2018 and fully acquired in 2020. For years Royal Caribbean also owned Azamara but announced in January 2021 that it was selling the line to a private equity firm for US$200 million.
Fain’s down-to-earth manner and common touch are a good fit for the travel and cruise industries, and his leadership skills have been front and centre during the pandemic, when he delivered straight talk and inspiration in his video messages to the company’s legions of travel advisor partners.
As Fain told agents in one of his most recent videos, in September 2021: “We’re excited about the way forward and confident that the darkest days are behind us as we set our sights on a strong Wave and a powerful 2022. Getting there is still going to take fortitude, but we all need to take the steps now to prepare.”
Making this latest announcement by video as well, Fain told agents: “I have decided to step down as the CEO of Royal Caribbean Group. I’m not disappearing from this industry we all love. I will remain as chair and I will continue my involvement in our new building projects.”
Fain notes that incoming CEO Jason Liberty is a friend and colleague who Fain has worked with for more than half his 33 years at the company. “I could not be more pleased to see such a principled and effective leader taking the helm,” Fain says.