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Orlando Ashford is leaving HAL

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Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford announced that he will be leaving the company at the end of May, according to a press release.

The news follows an earlier announcement that Rick Meadows was leaving Carnival sister brand Seabourn from his president post.

Since November 2014, Ashford has served as president of Holland America Line, leading the cruise line's brand and business, including its fleet of 14 vessels.

He oversaw Holland America Line’s sales and marketing, revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, public relations, hotel operations and strategy. 

“Orlando has made a substantial contribution to Holland America Line during his tenure, bringing a renewed energy to the premium cruise line that was recognized with many awards and accolades,” said Stein Kruse, Group CEO of Holland America Group and Carnival UK. “His unique background as an innovator and global leader in human resources was highly respected in our organization and his dynamism will be greatly missed.”

“It has been an honor and a privilege to lead the evolution of the Holland America Line brand for more than five years,” said Ashford. “I can’t say enough about the talent and teamwork both shoreside and on board the ships that has driven our many successes over the years.

 

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/22930-orlando-ashford-leaving-holland-america.html

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Posted (edited)

I suspect that the HAL group of Seabourn, HAL and Princess will be consolidated at the top under single management.   

 

Look for other executives at Seabourn and Princess to be shown the door.    They will probably run all three lines from Seattle.   

 

The Seabourn CEO is leaving.   Princess CEO can't be far behind.

 

Stein Kruse probably wanted to do this for awhile - now's his chance to clean house.  

They will probably keep the brands separate but share much more of everything in the back of the house.

Edited by The-Inside-Cabin

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9 minutes ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

I suspect that the HAL group of Seabourn, HAL and Princess will be consolidated at the top under single management.   

 

Look for other executives at Seabourn and Princess to be shown the door.    They will probably run all three lines from Seattle.   

 

The Seabourn CEO is leaving.   Princess CEO can't be far behind.

 

Stein Kruse probably wanted to do this for awhile - now's his chance to clean house.  

They will probably keep the brands separate but share much more of everything in the back of the house.

 

 

It's actually four lines since P&O Australia is also part of that group so we can be on the lookout for that CEO-Prez being shown that proverbial door

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I wonder if his leaving bonus will be delayed 60-90 days

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Interesting news.

I wonder who will take the helm now.

I think Stein Kruse will run all 3 lines from his spot as group CEO.

 

Look for Princess CEO next then a bunch of VPs from all 3 lines.

 

The further you are from the customer, the more your job is at risk.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Well, well, well, good news but a hard time for change as they are already slammed.  My hope is that this will lead to a better focus on the market they have a natural fit for.  The market between Seabourn and Princess.

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He should work for free until the refunds are done.

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Posted (edited)

I don't think we will see Jan Schwartz leave Princess as she has been a very effective leader for the brand, but I agree that HAL/Seabourn will most likely be merged and that Stein Kruse will take the helm until the dust settles.  Given the uniqueness of P&O Australia I do not see them being merged wil HAL/Seabourn or Princess.  I could see them folded back into P&O UK operationally however.

Edited by AtlantaCruiser72

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In these very stressful and depressing times, I feel a little bit better about the importance of accountability within the leadership ranks.  I feel a little better about my future patronage of Holland America Line, and I feel better for the thousands of employees who have have worked so hard to help build the cruise industry.

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I also find it interesting that the announcement of Ashford's departure was announced on the same date that HAL is conducting a trade webinar led by their Director of Field Sales called "Holland America Line: To the Voyage Ahead".  This is the first such webinar they have had since the crisis started and cannot be a mere coincidence.

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11 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

I also find it interesting that the announcement of Ashford's departure was announced on the same date that HAL is conducting a trade webinar led by their Director of Field Sales called "Holland America Line: To the Voyage Ahead".  This is the first such webinar they have had since the crisis started and cannot be a mere coincidence.

I just watched the webinar. Really just a sales pitch to TA's. Protecting their commissions, both on fully paid but cancelled 2020 cruises and on the FCC issued for future cruises. Spelling out of FCC and refund amounts and how they differed from pre May 6 cruise cancellations and post May 6 cancellations. Pep talk. Promotional support to TA's for selling HAL cruises. Continuing education classes. Absolutely NO questions answered. All were going to be directed to TA's Business Development Manager to be answered. A waste of time for me. 

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I realize the pandemic caused everyone to learn how to deal with business in a whole new way. However, through monitoring the HAL World Cruise bloggers' posts, it seemed like HAL's initial response wasn't well thought out and there have been too many stops and starts and reverses during the process. This includes initially only handling return flights from Australia for passengers who had booked their original flights through HAL to problems processing refunds in a timely manner to the changing process about how luggage is going to be returned to those passengers.

 

Those missteps invariably end up being the responsibility of those at the top. The fact that many of the World Cruise passengers are at the top tier of the HAL loyalty program was most likely a big factor in his dismissal because those passengers are not shy about expressing their displeasure.

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1 hour ago, puppycanducruise said:

Interesting news.

I wonder who will take the helm now.

Kruse, he will run all 4 lines with four hopefully decent VP's with cruise ship experience..

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I realize some will say the timing couldn't be worse, but frankly, I've seen nothing that gives me confidence in him with all that has gone on.

 

Let's see - he eliminated libraries, eliminated Stryker and other talented piano bar players with his changes, ruined the Crow's Nest - the list goes on.

some changes have been good of course but overall I didn't feel he had a concept nor any empathy with cruisers.  The lack of communication to everyone in this time of delayed refunds proves it.  Had there been communication and explanation, I bet people would not have disputed as much with their CC companies.   I have far more faith in Stein Kruse than I do in Orlando Ashford.  JMO.

 

The Princess CEO has been amazing IMO and communicating - at least on FB.  

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1 hour ago, puppycanducruise said:

Interesting news.

I wonder who will take the helm now.

Copper 10-8😁

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1 hour ago, ATC said:

I wonder if his leaving bonus will be delayed 60-90 days

I am sure Mr. Ashford will get any money as part of his severance before passengers get their refund.

C'est la vie!

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It has been a very rough time to work for the cruise lines.  Do you think those onboard the ships and those in Seattle are happy?  Many of us who have grown to love Holland America do so because of the staff and they are hurting now and so are we.

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My first ever cruise with HAL was on Westerdam in 2008 and thought it was very nice but OMG so boring at night. Lots of you might not be fans of his but under him must admit that some of the initiatives launched like the Music Walk Concept (Lincoln Center Stage, BB Kings, Billboard Onboard, Rolling Stone Rock Room) have all been very well like by the older and younger crowd.

On the other hand the food in the MDR has fallen (Like most lines) and some new specialty dinning venues have been a total disaster.

I thought while not being perfect hes brought back the joy of traveling on Hal with a mix of older and younger but still more adult family oriented cruise.

 

Thnaks Sea ya

Eric

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2 minutes ago, nimiq said:

My first ever cruise with HAL was on Westerdam in 2008 and thought it was very nice but OMG so boring at night. Lots of you might not be fans of his but under him must admit that some of the initiatives launched like the Music Walk Concept (Lincoln Center Stage, BB Kings, Billboard Onboard, Rolling Stone Rock Room) have all been very well like by the older and younger crowd.

On the other hand the food in the MDR has fallen (Like most lines) and some new specialty dinning venues have been a total disaster.

I thought while not being perfect hes brought back the joy of traveling on Hal with a mix of older and younger but still more adult family oriented cruise.

 

Thnaks Sea ya

Eric

What new dining venues have been a total disaster? 

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Certainly not sorry to see him go.  The man was unfortunately put in a job he was not prepared for but that cannot excuse all his mistakes because of his lack of knowledge and understanding of the business.  Hopefully, HAL's new leader will be knowledgeable enough to develop a vision that encompasses both traditional HAL cruisers and new HAL cruisers.  Hint: Ask their counterpart at Princess as she seems to understand the business and doing very well 😉

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Why is Seth Wayne still being paid to do trivia on Facebook . Give us our refunds

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1 hour ago, puppycanducruise said:

Interesting news.

I wonder who will take the helm now.

 

8 minutes ago, Sue from Canada said:

Copper 10-8😁

I'll second that!!!

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Just now, 1ANGELCAT said:

What new dining venues have been a total disaster? 

America's Test Kitchen and Club Orange come to mind.  😉

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