Carnival Names Freed's Replacement, Taps Costa North America CEO

Carnival Cruise Lines stayed inside the Carnival family to replace the void left by former Senior Vice President of Sales and Guest Services, Vicki Freed, who shocked the travel agent community two weeks ago by jumping to Carnival rival Royal Caribbean. Lynn Torrent will leave her position as president and CEO of Costa Cruise Lines, North America to take over the post left by Freed, beginning March 3. The announcement was made Friday. Costa Cruises currently has a search underway to fill its CEO seat.

In her new capacity, Torrent will oversee Carnival's sales activities as they relate to travel agents, which Carnival says "account for the vast majority of the company's bookings." Additionally, Torrent will be responsible for Carnival's call centers in Florida and Colorado Springs.

Gianni Onorato, president of Costa Cruises, wished Torrent well and was happy that she was, at least, leaving the line for another Carnival brand. Gerry Cahill, Carnival Cruises Lines' president and CEO, stressed the important role travel agents play and was confident that Torrent would seamlessly fill the role. "Travel agents are the key component of our distribution system and we're very happy to have someone of Lynn's caliber leading this effort," Cahill said. "I have tremendous confidence in her ability to lead."

Torrent has worked in the cruise industry for 13 years and served for three years as vice president of marketing for Carnival Corp., Carnival Cruise Lines' parent company, prior to joining Costa as its CEO. (DE)