Royal Caribbean’s CEO Richard Fain stepping down after more than three decades

Nov 09, 2021

Coping with the pandemic crisis and being the leading person of the world’s second-largest cruise company for 33 years, the 74-year old CEO Richard D. Fain is stepping down from this position at the very beginning of 2022. Fain said “it was the right time to step down” with most of the company’s ships operating and the group nearing a full return to cruising. The popular and pleasant leader introduced lots of magnificent ships to the world of cruises and gave millions of people the pleasure of cruising in his time. 

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.”

Especially in these last 24 months, he has been so involved in cruise operations resuming and has set high standards for health and safety on board the vessels through presenting the Healthy Sail Panel.

"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. But starting in January, I will no longer be involved in the day to day running of the business," Mr. Fain said in a video announcement.

The CEO position will be taken over by the Finance chief Jason Liberty, whose assignments are taking the company back to pre-pandemic levels as sailing operations slowly restart more than a year after operations were suspended.

After Jason Liberty takes over the CEO position, its senior vice-president Naftali Holtz will assume the CFO’s role. Fain was one of the key leaders to push for a safe restart of sailings during the pandemic that wiped off half of Royal Caribbean’s market valuation in 2020.

It is important to mention that Royal Caribbean was the first major cruise operator to resume operations from U.S. ports and the booking trends for 2022 go very high for now. 

Fain is not giving up the beloved business, he remains a chairman of the board and will cooperate with Jason Liberty, who joined Royal Caribbean in 2005 and took up the role of Chief Financial Officer in 2013.