In a move that surprised many in the cruise industry, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, who was profiled in SFBW’s cover story in November 2022, is stepping down as president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises and into a new role as vice chair of external affairs for the Royal Caribbean Group. She will assume her new role on May 1.
“While it has always been hard for me to imagine leaving this incredible brand, the time is right for me to turn the helm over to a new leader,” said Lutoff-Perlo. “I began my Royal Caribbean Group journey in 1985 when I applied for a role as a district sales manager in New England. It was at a time in my life when I didn’t have a career plan and I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. But, as Jacques Cousteau once famously said, ‘The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.’ I was absolutely hooked and knew that I had found my calling.”
“What I didn’t know then,” she continued, “is that I would go on to take the helm of Celebrity Cruises, the first woman at the Royal Caribbean Group to hold the President and CEO position; launch the extraordinary Edge Series of ships to great acclaim; catalyze gender equity on the bridges of our ships; sail through a pandemic and come out on the other side with Celebrity Edge leading the way for the industry’s triumphant return; and then become the first cruise brand to earn the coveted Forbes Travel Guide star rating.”
“Throughout my time at the helm of Celebrity, you have been steadfast champions of me and this brand and helped propel us to the strong, remarkable cruise line we are today. And while I have continued to build and strengthen the Celebrity brand, I also worked alongside so many of you to build and strengthen our communities. I consider you friends and I cherish all the times we have spent together at various community events. What memories and progress we have made!”
“At the end of the day, it is always about the people you surround yourself with, and I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be in this community of such passionate, respected leaders.”
“As I take on this new vice chair role,” she concluded, “I will look forward to continuing to see you at various community events as continuing to represent our company and serve our communities will be a key responsibility in my new role. In this role, and wherever the future takes me, I will remain a passionate advocate for all of you, your organizations and for our communities. It continues to be my great honor and privilege to be on this journey with you.”