Arison — the company’s largest shareholder — will remain as Chairman of the Board, but his CEO duties will be handed over to board member Andrew Donald, who is also on the board of Bank of America and who spent 20 years with Monsanto — so we’re talking about a guy who is probably used to people not liking him.
A February engine room fire on the Carnival Triumph resulted in 3,100 passengers being stranded at sea for several days without proper plumbing. The negative publicity had a direct impact on Carnival’s business but also of the public’s perception of the cruise industry as a whole, according to a recent survey.
In a call with reporters today about Arison’s exit, Carnival admitted that it could be two to three years before it returns to the level of bookings it had before the recent rash of incidents.
Carnival recently announced it was investing $300 million in improvements to its ships in the hopes of preempting high-profile mechanical incidents in the future.