Carnival CEO Steps Down After Disastrous Year

Carnival Corp. announced today that CEO Micky Arison will be stepping down, though he will stay on the company's board as chairman. It's been a tough year for the company—though passengers on February's Carnival #cruisefromhell might argue that they have borne the brunt of the company’s missteps.

Arison came under fire when he was photographed sitting courtside at a Miami Heat game (he owns the team) while passengers of the ill-fated cruise liner dealt with well-documented conditions like raw sewage running down the walls of the ship.

Carnival was applauded for its response to the crisis, generating good PR by having 200 employees waiting to assist disembarking passengers and offering every passenger $500, a flight home, a full refund on their booking, a credit for a future cruise and reimbursement for most of their onboard purchases. Still, the damage was done and someone needed to fall on his sword.

Arison had been CEO of Carnival since 1979. Arnold W. Donald, who has been a director at the company for 12 years, succeeds him.

There are some PR waves you can ride out, but raw sewage is a surefire way to sink a reputation.

Follow Lucia Davis: @LKCDavis

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About Lucia Davis

Lucia Davis is community editor for PR News. Prior to returning to NYC, she was associate editor at iMedia Connection in Culver City, CA. In addition to PR News and iMedia, Lucia's writing has appeared in minonline, "The Minetta Review," "EQUITIES Magazine," and "The Foothills Paper."

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