After taking the company through the pandemic, and one of the most difficult periods in the history of the world’s second-largest cruise company, Richard D. Fain is stepping down as CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group effective January 3, 2022.
The 74-year old will continue as Chair of the Board, while Jason Liberty, the current Chief Financial Officer will replace him as CEO. It marks 33 years in which Richard Fain turned Royal Caribbean into a front runner in the cruise industry.
Cruise Industry Leader
Richard D. Fain introduced millions of people to the joys of cruising during his tenure. The popular and approachable leader of the second-largest cruise company in the world is also responsible for introducing a number of unforgettable ships to the world of cruises.
Some of the ship classes that Fain has been responsible for include Royal Caribbean International’s Sovereign, Voyager, and Oasis classes; Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice and Edge classes; Royal Caribbean International’s Icon class set to launch in 2023, and Silversea Cruises’ “Project Evolution” the first hybrid-powered ship when introduced in 2023.
Richard D. Fain: “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.”
Fain was one of the innovators who introduced innovation and changed the cruise industry forever during the 33 years he has been in charge. In addition to enhancing the onboard experience for millions of guests, he was at the forefront of efforts to improve sustainability, safety, and entertainment.
In the last 24 months, Richard D. Fain has been instrumental in cruise operations resuming Richard D. Fain has been instrumental in resuming cruise operations safely over the last 24 months, and he has set high standards for health and safety on board the Royal Caribbean fleet through the introduction of the Healthy Sail Panel.
Bill Kimsey, lead director of the Board: “Richard has been a visionary leader, who has made innumerable and remarkable contributions to our company and our industry. Most recently, his stewardship during the COVID pandemic marks him as one of the great CEOs of his generation. The cruising community and all of us in the company owe him a debt of gratitude.”
Chief Financial Officer to Succeed as CEO
Royal Caribbean Group announced that Jason Liberty would be taking over the role of CEO as Richard D. Fain steps down. Since joining Royal Caribbean in 2005 as Vice President Audit & Advisory Services, Liberty has gone on to fulfill various roles within the company over the years, and since 2013, Liberty has been the company’s Chief Financial Officer.
“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,” Richard Fain said. “He is a highly versatile and strategic leader, who has been integral to all aspects of the company’s accomplishments and performance.
“Our success as a business has relied heavily on our culture and on the values we hold dear. Jason epitomizes those values, and I know he will work to build on them in this everchanging world. I couldn’t be happier to have such a superbly qualified and principled leader succeed me as CEO. Jason will lead the Group to new heights.”
Liberty has assumed responsibility for Silversea Cruises, TUI Cruises, Hapag Lloyd Cruises, and Royal Caribbean Group’s technology, supply chain, port operations, and legal functions. From now on, he will serve as CEO and join the Board of Directors.
Jason Liberty said this: “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.”
Richard Fain will remain as Chair of the Board of Directors. Naftali Holtz will take over the role of CFO when Liberty is appointed CEO.