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CLIA looks for leader again after sudden step-down

August 21, 2015 Association, Headline News No Comments Print Print Email Email

egtmedia59World cruise industry trade group Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is looking for another leader after its president and chief executive stepped down unexpectedly after just a month in the job.

Previously, Christine Duffy, a star performer and cruise expert well known in Australia for her visits in connection with CLIA and cruising, held the post for some time. Duffy moved on to greater things, having announced in December that she was leaving to become president of Carnival Cruise Line. She took up her new job in February.

Thomas P. Ostebo

Thomas P. Ostebo

Her replacement as CLIA president and chief executive was longtime US Coast Guard official Thomas Ostebo. In an interview with the Miami Herald shortly after starting the job in early July, Ostebo said that most of his experience with cruise ships came during his 25 years as a search and rescue pilot and from his role as district commander in Alaska.

After just a few weeks in the job, CLIA announced that Ostebo had stepped down.

Ostebo’s departure, which the Miami Herald said was for unspecified personal reasons, took effect immediately.

The paper said a spokeswoman for CLIA would not release any information beyond what was included in a short press release “and did not address questions about the search process for a new CEO or a time frame for announcing a new leader”.

So at present, CLIA would appear to be leaderless, though not exactly rudderless. Cindy D’Aoust, executive vice president of membership and operations, has stepped in as acting chief executive until a permanent top executive is appointed. She joined CLIA in December.

“While it is unfortunate that Tom is departing CLIA, his desire to put his family first is a testament to his character, and we wish him the best in all his future endeavours,” CLIA’s global chairman Adam Goldstein, president and chief operating officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises, commented in a statement.

According to the Miami Herald, Ostebo described his experience after two days on the job as “interesting, frightening, shocking and exciting all at the same time in just the first couple days”. He added candidly “I told my wife last night: ‘After day two, I feel like I’ve been here two years already.’ ”

Written by Peter Needham

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