Standing at the edge of his retirement phase and working tirelessly for Carnival Corporation for 12 long years, Arnold was all but assured how the rest of his corporate life will pan out at the company. But then the CEO and Chairman of the world’s largest cruise company, Micky Arison, decided to roll out an unanticipated offer on the plate for Arnold. And, thus, began the second chapter of Arnold’s fascinating corporate journey. Though his decision to accept the offer was wrapped with reluctance at first, Arnold Donald eventually realized the significance of the opportunity, and since then he hasn’t looked back.
The Spark that Ignited Fire
Arnold learned early on about the importance of education, planning, and hard work. His entrepreneurial journey stemmed from his childhood years, wherein he bought candy’s in bulk quantities and sold them to his older sister at a large markup. By earning multiple degrees, including an MBA, Arnold grabbed the opportunity to work for Monsanto Company, a global manufacturer of the sweetener brands Equal and Canderal. His 20 years at the company culminated in running its largest division and spearheading it towards success.
Following his role as the Chairman of Merisant Company, Arnold served as the CEO of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and then the Executive Leadership Council in Washington D.C. Never to shy away from responsibilities, the passionate businessman served as the member of multiple boards, both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Arnold prioritized his passion to pursue a career in business early on, leading him to scale unimaginable heights in his corporate career. He mentions “…I believe we really enjoy what we’re doing when one follows their dreams.”
Grabbing Hold of Opportunities
When Micky Arison decided to split the role of Chairman and CEO and offered him to serve as the CEO of the company, Arnold had to ponder over the opportunity for a couple of days. Today, Arnold mentions how he would have regretted if he hadn’t taken up this job as his experience has been anything less than incredible thus far.
“I’m honored that Micky has entrusted me with the company that he and his father built over several decades. It is a lot of fun to work with such passionate employees who take the responsibility of delivering a great vacation very seriously,” Arnold asserts. One of Arnold’s passion revolves around exploring and discovering the world and meeting new people and gaining new perspectives, one which he is able to do in his role as the CEO of Carnival Corporation. The company creates great vacation experiences for their guests, which would be etched forever in their minds – “is there any better business than that?“
A Company with an Extraordinary Portfolio
With a dedicated 120,000 workforce, Carnival Corporation is the world’s largest leisure travel company. Its vast and passionate employee base, spread across 100 countries and above, are focused upon exceeding guest expectations and providing travellers around the globe with extraordinary vacations at an exceptional value, every single day. The company boasts a portfolio of 9 global cruise brands plus a social impact brand, including well-known, iconic cruise lines in North America – Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn. Together, Carnivals’ global brands operate a fleet of more than 100 ships, visiting over 700 ports around the world and are providing nearly 12 million guests annually with extraordinary cruise vacations.
It is Arnold’s professional goal to do everything in his ability to help its dedicated employees exceed the guests’ expectations and provide them with the best vacations in the world. Arnold claims, “If we can continue to do that, our employees will be successful, our guests will be highly satisfied and want to cruise more often, and we will entice more travelers to try cruising for the first time, which will help drive our ongoing performance.”
Fostering Diversity of Thinking
A key value throughout Arnold’s career has been fostering the idea of “diversity of thinking.” He believes having an organized workforce centered-around a common objective, irrespective of their differing background and cultural experiences, enables creativity and innovation to flourish. The company’s focus on diversity of thinking drives innovation, which in turn creates new opportunities to continuously exceed guest expectations and expand its business.
Overcoming Complacency and other Challenges
With the world quickly evolving with new and emerging innovations and approaches, which are disrupting business models and creating new forms of competition and sometimes entirely new market, one needs to have the ability to look around the corners and continually innovate to stay competitive. This means avoiding complacency and always looking for new ways to achieve your goals.
Arnold advises aspiring entrepreneurs to go after what they are passionate about in life and never be afraid to dream big. He continues, “Challenges will come throughout your career, but if you are doing something you love, you will have the strength and resolve to overcome issues – and you will have more fun along the way!”
The Future of Continual Expansion
Carnival Corporation will continue to innovate around its guest experience and use its brands and global reach to serve its guests better. The passion of its employees in providing its guests with extraordinary vacations has been a key highlight behind the company’s remarkable success and performance. It is this passion and spirit of Carnival’s employees which is driving and will continue to drive its business forward.
Arnold has instilled a culture of innovation across the organization by collaborating together, learning from each other, and taking advantage of the strong diversity of thinking across the company. “Our ability to continue to drive innovation with our employees will be the key to staying competitive, growing the business and taking a larger share of the overall vacation market,” Arnold concludes.