Chairman of the Board
Carnival Corporation & plc
Micky Arison grew up in the cruise business and spent the better part of two decades learning it from the ground up before being appointed chairman in 1990.
Mr. Arison began in the sales department at Carnival Cruise Lines and worked his way up becoming reservations manager in 1974. He became vice president of passenger traffic in 1976, and just three years later, Mr. Arison was named president.
In 1987, Carnival went public, raising $400 million for future expansion, and by early 1989, Mr. Arison engineered the acquisition of the venerable Holland America Line. The purchase also included Windstar Cruises and Westours (now Holland America Princess Tours), a leading Alaska tour operator, giving Carnival entrée to the premium segment of the cruise industry.
Over the next several years, Carnival Corporation acquired brands in various other markets including ultra-luxury Cunard Line and Seabourn Cruise Line, as well as contemporary European operator Costa Cruises, the region’s number one cruise line.
In April 2003, Mr. Arison spearheaded the transaction combining Carnival Corporation’s six cruise operators with the brands of P&O Princess Cruises, creating a truly global cruise operator with the leading cruise brands in both North America and Europe.
Mr. Arison’s contributions to the cruise industry have been recognized worldwide. Some of his honors include being named “Officer of the French Legion of Honor” – the country’s highest civilian honor – by then French President Jacques Chirac, as well as receiving the insignia of “Onorificenza al Merito della Repubblica Italiana” by the president of Italy, which confers that country's highest title on a civilian.
Mr. Arison has been chairman of the board of directors since 1990 and a director since 1987. He became a director and chairman of the board of directors of Carnival plc in April 2003. He was Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Corporation from 1979 to July 2013 and was Chief Executive Officer of Carnival plc from 2003 to July 2013.