Travel Industry Leaders Sound Off About Hanrahan's Departure

After 13 years at Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International, Dan Hanrahan, Celebrity’s president and CEO, resigned yesterday to take a new opportunity as CEO of Regis, a Minneapolis, MN, company that operates salons and is best known for its Supercuts and Hair Club brands.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., parent of Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Azamara Club Cruises, alerted the industry via a press release, in which Richard Fain, the cruise company’s president and CEO, expressed the company's appreciation to Hanrahan for his "countless contributions to the company, such as leading the creation of the award-winning 'Get Out There' campaign for Royal Caribbean International, to transforming the Celebrity brand with the stunning Solstice-class fleet."

We asked several cruise industry distribution executives for their thoughts on Hanrahan’s departure, his accomplishments in the cruise industry and his service to travel agents.

Brad Tolkin, co-founder and co-CEO, World Travel Holdings, parent firm of CruiseOne and Cruises Inc.: “As part of the Royal Caribbean International family of brands, Celebrity Cruises is a company with a strong foundation and a bright future. Under Dan’s leadership, Celebrity has embraced travel agencies as valued partners and emphasized the value of the agency distribution model. While the team at WTH is sad to see Dan leave his post, and will truly miss working with him, we expect to continue a long-lasting partnership with Celebrity.”
John Lovell, president, "Dan will be missed by the entire travel agency community. Dan oversaw a tremendous growth period in Celebrity's history and understood the value that travel professionals played in that growth. His leadership, vision and passion for the cruise industry, and the travel industry as a whole, will be missed. We wish Dan all the best in his new endeavor."

Michelle Fee, co-founder and CEO, Cruise Planners: “When hearing the news about Dan Hanrahan I was shocked and of course I am sad to see him leave. Being on the Celebrity Cruise Lines Advisory Board, I can tell you first hand that Dan was such an approachable executive. He always participated and took the ‘hands on’ approach. During his tenure he brought the most amazing ships into the Celebrity fleet, they were in a category all their own. It was a pleasure to work with Dan and I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

Roger Block, president, Travel Leaders Franchise Group: “Travel Leaders has enjoyed a very long term relationship with Dan, and he has been a true partner and friend. He will sorely missed and we wish him all the best."

Frans Hansen, The Cruise Web: “Dan’s leadership helped build both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity into the special consumer brands that they are today, and further, into companies that are both easy to do business with and rewarding to sell for. The Cruise Web and I very much appreciate everything Dan has done for our industry.”

Tom Baumann, president, Travel Leaders Leisure Group, which includes company-owned Travel Leaders leisure locations as well as Cruise Holidays, Cruise Specialists, All Aboard Travel, and Luxury Travel Network: “Dan was an amazing guy [in his cruise leadership roles]. He not only valued the travel agency community, but he was passionate about us finding ways to work closely together. He should be so proud of all that he has accomplished for our industry. He will be missed greatly as a leader and a friend. I know that whatever he does, he will hit the ball out of the park.”

Van Anderson, co-president of Avoya Travel / American Express: “Dan Hanrahan’s tenure as the CEO of Celebrity Cruises has been nothing short of astounding. He has provided visionary leadership, both in the design and development of the brand as well as in the creation of an extraordinary team.

“So while we are saddened to hear of his departure, there is no doubt that Celebrity has already become established as a unique and very well positioned cruise line. We’re confident that the remaining executive team will continue the tradition of being an excellent partner to the agency community as well as ensuring the delivery of and exceptional product. It has been a pleasure to work with Dan and we are excited to hear about his future opportunities.”

New Opportunity

So what's ahead for Hanrahan? He'll have sizable global responsibilities as Regis operates in the U.S. and more than 30 other countries.

As of March 31, the Regis owned, franchised or held ownership interests in approximately 12,700 worldwide locations. Regis' corporate and franchised locations operate under concepts such as Supercuts, Sassoon Salon, Regis Salons, MasterCuts, SmartStyle, Cost Cutters, Cool Cuts 4 Kids and Hair Club for Men and Women. In addition, Regis maintains an ownership interest in Provalliance, which operates salons primarily in Europe, under the brands of Jean Louis David, Franck Provost and Saint Algue. Regis also maintains ownership interests in Empire Education Group in the U.S. and the MY Style concepts in Japan.

Regis reported Tuesday that quarterly sales had dropped 4 percent from the same period a year ago. In a separate Regis press release, Joel Conner, Regis’ chairman, said, “Dan is a proven, results-oriented leader who understands the value of the customer experience and will be a great asset to Regis."

"With his operational background and extensive experience across a wide spectrum of consumer-facing brands, Dan is the ideal candidate to drive Regis' comprehensive strategy to improve the salon experience and enhance value for our shareholders," Conner said.
What’s your opinion? Sound off about Hanrahan’s departure and his contributions to the industry in the comment space below. 

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