Frank Steps Down at Carnival Corp; Buckelew, Kruse and Swartz Promoted

Howard Frank
Howard Frank

Carnival Corporation made a series of major personnel announcements today, effective December 1. They include:

Howard Frank, Carnival Corporation’s vice chairman and chief operating officer (COO), will step down from those roles. He will become special advisor to Arnold Donald, Carnival Corporation’s CEO, and to Micky Arison, chairman of the board. Frank will continue to represent the industry in his current role as chairman of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Alan Buckelew, currently president and CEO, Princess Cruises, is being appointed to the newly created role of chief operations officer of Carnival Corporation. He will report to Donald.

Stein Kruse, currently president and CEO, Holland America Line, is being appointed CEO of the Holland America Group, adding Princess Cruises and Holland America/Princess Tours (which handles land operations in Alaska) to his current responsibilities, which include Holland America Line and Seabourn. Kruse will report to Donald.

Kruse also will replace Micky Arison as chairman of the board of MANCO, the UK-based entity which oversees operations of Carnival Australia including P&O Cruises.

Jan Swartz, currently executive vice president, sales, marketing and customer service, Princess Cruises, has been appointed as president of Princess Cruises. She’ll report to Kruse.

Carnival Corporation is the largest cruise company in the world with 100 ships and more than 200,000 lower berths. It operates a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Australia and Asia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Ibero Cruises, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK).

The announcements were not unexpected, say insiders, as Micky Arison had recently stepped down as CEO, turning those duties over to Arnold. Arison remains chairman of the board. In addition, Peter Shanks, who formerly headed up the group that included Princess, left the company this fall. 

RELATED: Arison Steps Down as CEO

RELATED: Shanks Departs Cunard During Restructuring


Frank’s Next Chapter 

As vice chairman, Frank teamed with Arison to grow Carnival into the largest leisure travel company in the world. When Frank joined Carnival, the company had 785,000 guests sailing on 14 ships, supported by fewer than 7,000 employees generating $1.1 billion in revenue and a market capitalization of $2.7 billion.

Today, Carnival's 10 brands annually welcome over 10 million guests on more than 100 ships supported by over 90,000 employees generating more than $15 billion in revenue with a market capitalization of $27 billion.

RELATED: Carnival Cruise Lines Completes First Phase of GoCCL Enhancements

At 71, Frank is a long-time Carnival Corp. employee. "We are greatly appreciative of Howard’s commitment to provide ongoing counsel, advice and industry leadership, as he enters this next stage," said Donald. “Howard truly is a pioneer in our industry and he leaves an unequaled legacy at Carnival Corporation."

Arison added: “For the last 25 years, Howard and I have worked side by side and I could not have asked for a better business partner. I am looking forward to his continued contributions in his new role.”


alan buckelew
Alan Buckelew

Buckelew’s New Gig

As the new chief operations officer of Carnival Corporation, Buckelew will have oversight of all Carnival Corp. maritime and port operations around the world and such collaborative functions as information technology; group strategy and global operations; ship retrofits; newbuilds; research and development; risk advisory; and quality assurance.

Additionally, Buckelew will have oversight of Carnival Asia, with responsibility for coordinating all brand and related activities in Asia. “With his successful track record in both running a brand and as a functional lead, Alan is ideally suited to take on the tasks of this new role,” said Donald. 

RELATED: Carnival Cruise Lines Launches Affinity Group Program Based on Agent Feedback

With a career spanning more than 36 years in the cruise industry, Buckelew has served as chief executive officer of Princess Cruises since June 2007. He has been the line’s president since February 2004. In addition he also served as chief operating officer for Cunard Line from 2004 to 2007.

Buckelew also previously served as executive vice president responsible for Princess’s strategic planning, marketing and yield management services. Before that, Buckelew held various other high-level executive positions in customer service, shared services and yield management. He also served as chief information officer and chief financial officer of Princess.

Buckelew served in the U.S. Army in 1969 and 1970 in Vietnam and was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Air Medal, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm and two Bronze Stars.

Born in Long Beach, CA, Buckelew holds an MBA and bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. He resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Christine, and two daughters.


stein kruse
Stein Kruse

Kruse’s Elevated Role

Considered by industry insiders as an operational “star,” particularly with fleet, maritime and environmental issues, Stein Kruse was elevated to president and CEO, Holland America Group. He’ll supervise a group that encompasses the major Holland America, Seabourn and Princess brands as well as land tour operations in Alaska and the Yukon.

The newly created Holland America Group operates 41 cruise ships with over 36,000 employees worldwide who annually deliver 25 million passenger cruise days. He’ll also oversee operations of Carnival Australia, including P&O Cruises there.

"This is an exciting expanded opportunity for Stein and the experience and track record of effective leadership he brings to it bodes well for our future," said Donald.

Kruse joined Holland America Line in Seattle in 1999 as senior vice president, fleet operations with overall responsibility for operations and newbuilding. In 2003, he was named president and chief operating officer, and on December 1, 2004, chief executive officer.

In January 2011, he was named chairman of Seabourn and the corporate headquarters for that luxury line transitioned from Miami to Seattle. Under Stein’s leadership, Holland America Line and Seabourn have prospered.

He implemented the HAL Signature of Excellence quality and service enhancement initiative and created a health, environmental, safety and security program. As well, Stein has broadened Holland America Line’s philanthropic efforts and encouraged employees to serve on nonprofit boards.

Before he joined Holland America Line, Stein was senior vice president and chief financial officer of the North American operations for global Japanese shipping company "K" Line, where he also oversaw financial activities in seven U.S. subsidiary companies and served on the company’s board of directors. Prior to that, Kruse was executive vice president and chief operating officer for Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, and president and chief executive officer for Seven Seas Cruise Line.

Kruse currently serves on the boards of the U.S. Coast Guard Foundation, World Trade Center Seattle, Saltchuk Resources, Inc., and the University of Washington Foster School of Business Dean’s Advisory Board. A native of Oslo, Norway, Kruse holds a bachelor of science degree from Purdue University and is a graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program.

Kruse, his wife and two children reside in Bellevue, Wash.


jan swartz
Jan Swartz

New President for Princess

As the new president of Princess Cruises, Swartz will oversee the Princess brand’s worldwide operations of 17 ships and 22,000 employees serving more than 1.4 million passengers annually. Princess Cruises sails to six continents and offers voyages from three to 111 days. The brand has sales, marketing and operational efforts in over 60 countries around the world.

"Jan has been at the forefront of industry innovation for a number of years and is highly regarded amongst her peers," Kruse said. Donald added: “I met Jan a number of years ago when she first presented to the board and I knew right then she was destined to do great work at Princess. She has my full support as she embarks on her new role.”

Swartz was appointed to her prior role of executive vice president, sales, marketing and customer service in January 2009. Prior to that, she served as senior vice president of customer service and sales for both the Princess and Cunard brands starting in 2004. In 2001, she was appointed the company’s vice president of strategy and business development, and worked on the P&O Princess/Carnival corporate acquisition. 

Before joining Princess, Swartz worked as a management consultant with Bain & Company, where for five years she worked with leading consumer and service companies on growth strategies. Also while at Bain, she led a team to evaluate and enhance Princess’ call center programs and distribution initiatives prior to Princess’ dramatic expansion.

Directly prior to joining Princess, Swartz served as chief executive officer of MXG Media, an interactive entertainment company, where she oversaw online, catalog, magazine and television ventures.

Swartz holds a master of business administration degree from Harvard Business School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics and English from the University of Virginia. She and her husband live in the Los Angeles area with their two children.