A succession plan for the CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line has been in the works for several years, said Frank Del Rio, CEO of Norwegian’s parent company. It was announced today that the current CEO, Andy Stuart, will be stepping down from his post at the end of this year.
Stuart, who has been with the Miami-based cruise line for 31 years, will be succeeded by the president of the line’s parent company, Lalana Cruise Norveziana Holdings Ltd., Harry Sommer. Stuart will stay on as an advisor through March of next year, the company said.
“I could only have dreamed about my journey at Norwegian when I joined the company in 1988 and am extremely fortunate to have witnessed firsthand the incredible evolution of this pioneering brand,” said Stuart in a statement. “I have worked closely with Harry and am confident he is the right person to take the helm and continue the journey for Norwegian Cruise Line.”
Stuart is credited with pioneering Norwegian’s “freestyle cruising” program, which allows passengers to eat their meals when they want at an on-board restaurant of their choice, breaking with the then-industry norm of set dining schedules.
Sommer, who will take over January 1, 2020, has been with the company for more than 30 years. He currently oversees business operations for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. international markets.
“Andy and I have worked closely together over the last several years and I am humbled and honored to follow in his footsteps and lead this renowned brand,” said Sommer in a statement.