Italian line Costa Cruises, a brand of Carnival Corporation, announced three executive-level appointments and a new corporate structure designed to address industry and market challenges, and strengthen revenues. The staff changes take effect on November 1, 2023.
Sales, Marketing, Revenue Are Top Priorities
Top-level organizational changes are in the offing at Costa Cruises, the Genoa, Italy-based line that operates 10 cruise ships, mostly catering to the Italian and European markets. Among them is the creation of a new position, Senior Vice President & Chief Corporate Officer, who will report to cruise line President Mario Zanetti.
In the newly-formed role, Roberto Alberti will oversee the cruise line’s finance, technology, legal, corporate communications, and government relations areas. Alberti has worked for Costa Cruises for 15 years, most recently as Chief Commercial Officer. In that position, Alberti is credited with increasing sales and marketing efforts across the cruise line’s operations.
In previous positions at Costa Cruises, Alberti was involved with the line’s sustainable development goals and its worldwide market strategies.
Costa Cruises also named Francesco Muglia as Senior Vice President Global Marketing and Sales, and Giovanna Loi as Vice President Marketing and Customer Experience Innovation.
Muglia, just a month ago, was appointed Vice President of Global Marketing and Source Markets, and he will maintain the duties of that post while adding the senior vice president responsibilities. He also will report to Zanetti.
In his new position, Muglia, who joined Costa Cruises in 2016, will be in charge of all marketing and sales activities worldwide. Along with sales, Muglia also will have responsibility for Brand PR and sustainability. His previous positions at the cruise line included Global Customer & Marketing Intelligence Director, and General Manager of the Iberia Region.
“Francesco and Roberto played a decisive role and significantly contributed to the recent repositioning of our brand. During their career at Costa, they have also gained a 360° experience giving strong impetus to our marketing programs and sales activities in all markets, thanks to innovative and very successful initiatives,” said Mario Zanetti, President of Costa Cruises.
“We face new commercial challenges always aiming at the full satisfaction of our guests, towards a continuous improvement. I am confident that this new organizational structure will enable us to achieve important new successes,” added Zanetti.
Giovanna Loi, in her new post as Vice President of Marketing and Customer Experience Innovation, will oversee several key departments, including Global Brand and advertising, CRM and loyalty, Customer Experience Innovation & On-Board Communication, Omnichannel Media, Marketing Intelligence, and Marketing Planning. She will report to Muglia.
Loi is joining Costa Cruises on November 6, 2023, from her current position as Chief Digital Officer at GroupM Italy, a media investment firm.
The three appointments follow another executive change announced on June 29, 2023, when Costa Cruises promoted Luigi Stefanelli to associate vice president for the Southern Europe Region. In his new role, Stefanelli oversees operations for Italy, Spain, France, and Portugal.
Executive Changes Are Part of Line’s Rebranding
Cruise line President Mario Zanetti’s reference to the repositioning of the Costa brand relates to the cruise line’s 2021 decision to unveil a new logo and to refocus its efforts on sustainably exploring global destinations.
The logo was changed from a double yellow funnel to a “C” symbol, while its efforts toward environmental sustainability include the building of ships powered by LNG (liquified natural gas), which reduces carbon emissions.
Both of its newest vessels, the 185,010-gross ton Costa Smeralda, which entered service in 2019, and the 182,700-gross ton Costa Toscana, launched in 2022, are LNG-powered ships. Fleet wide, the line maintains onboard policies and programs tied to environmental responsibility.
Costa Cruises was founded in 1854 as a cargo transporter, and began passenger services between Europe and South America in the mid-1900s. It soon entered the cruise vacation market, offering sailings in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Carnival Corporation bought a 50% stake in the line in 1997, and then fully acquired it in 2000.