Carnival Cruise Lines president and CEO Gerry Cahill said Oct. 30 that after 20 years with the company, he’s retiring as of Nov. 30.
Cahill, 63, joined Carnival in 1994 as vice president of finance, and in January 1998 was promoted to senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer. He became president and CEO in 2007.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to lead Carnival Cruise Lines for the past seven years and to work for this great company for 20 years,” Cahill said. “Deciding when to retire is not easy, especially when you love what you do. I feel the time is good for me personally and the company and brand are in a good place.”
Carnival said no replacement for Cahill is being named at this point, and that he’s agreed to stay on in an advisory capacity for an unspecified time to provide advice and counsel to the leadership team through the transition period.
Cahill’s tenure was marred in recent years by a handful of incidents, including a fire aboard the Carnival Triumph in February that left the ship without power and forced passengers to endure the stench of backed up sewage systems. The fire followed a handful of other incidents, including one that saw the Carnival Splendor lose power in 2010 after an engine room fire.
However, also during his tenure, Cahill helped the cruise line grow to 24 ships – the largest ever in the company’s fleet. He and his team launched four new vessels and introduced a new class of ships, the Dream class. Four of the company’s ships are based on the West Coast: the Carnival Legend, which departs on voyages from Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia on trips to Alaska and Hawaii; the Carnival Miracle, which is homeported at the Port of Los Angeles and sails to Hawaii and Mexico; and the Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Imagination, both of which sail to Mexico out of the Port of LA.