Bob Dickinson, the outspoken president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, will retire at the end of the year, the cruise operator announced Monday. To allow for an ample transition period, Gerry Cahill, executive vice president and CFO of Carnival Corp., has assumed Dickinson's responsibilities as president and CEO. Dickinson said he was blessed and still having fun atop the cruising giant, but his age-he will be 65 next month-was a determining factor, as were discussions with his family.
Dickinson, who will remain on the company's board of directors, joined Carnival in 1972, when the "Fun Ships"-a slogan Dickinson is credited with coining-numbered only one. His meteoric rise with Carnival culminated in 1993 when he was appointed president of Carnival Cruise Lines. In 2005, the title of CEO was added. Dickinson just released a second version of his book, "Selling the Sea: An Insider Look at the Travel Industry," which he originally penned back in the late 1990s. His views and methods for selling cruises have been well regarded within the travel agent community. Micky Arison, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corp., called Dickinson "one of the most influential people in the development of the modern-day cruise industry."