Kevin Sheehan, the president and chief executive of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, has stood down with immediate effect.
Sheehan, who has led the company since 2007, will be replaced by Frank Del Rio as part of the Norwegian’s acquisition of Prestige Cruise Holdings.
Sheehan resigned on Thursday.
Del Rio co-founded Oceania Cruises, which, along with Regent Seven Seas, was part of the Prestige Cruise Holdings group.
“It has been a privilege to lead Norwegian over the last seven years,” Sheehan, 61, said in a statement. “I am proud of what we have accomplished, and take comfort in the knowledge that I am leaving the company much healthier and stronger than when I joined. With the company set for success, I hand the baton off to Frank, a proven leader in the cruise industry.”
Sheehan has kept a public profile throughout his tenure at Norwegian Cruise Lines, appearing on the television programme Undercover Boss and naming the bars onboard Norwegian’s ships O’Sheehan’s.
In an interview with the Miami Herald, Frank Del Rio said: “Opportunities come and go all the time, and this was one that I simply couldn’t pass up.
“It will be the crowning jewel in a very long career for me. And I just can’t think of a better way to continue and extend my career.”
“I come from the upscale brand, so if anything we’re going to be looking to always improve upon all our products and perhaps Norwegian will benefit most from a new perspective in how to deliver an upscale product to its consumers,” he said.
“It’s all good for Oceania and Regent customers who can be confident that the product that they have learned to love over the years will stay intact. And on the Norwegian side, there’s the promise and prospect that that product will improve tremendously to new levels.”
Sheehan is entitled to a separation payment of $3.25 million and a $1.6 million bonus.
Shares in Norwegian Cruise Holdings were down 3 per cent on Friday, to $45.15.