Carnival and Holland America Corporation Senior Leaders Named Among 100 Most Powerful Executives

Black Enterprise magazine recognizes CEO Arnold Donald, chief procurement officer Julia Brown and company's Holland America Line president Orlando Ashford for corporate influence and leadership excellence among African-American executives from top 1,000 publicly traded companies


Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world’s largest leisure travel company, today announced that CEO Arnold Donald, chief procurement officer Julia Brown and Holland America Line president Orlando Ashford have been named among the “100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America” by Black Enterprise magazine. The magazine – a premier business publication for African Americans – annually compiles an exclusive listing of talented leaders from the top 1,000 publicly traded companies and international corporations with gross revenues of at least $1 billion who have had a significant influence in their company and industry.

Donald, Brown, and Ashford were selected from a list of the highest-ranking leaders who have significantly contributed to their company’s growth and success.

As Donald approaches his five-year anniversary in 2018 as CEO of the world’s largest leisure travel company, Carnival Corporation has delivered an exceptional financial performance while continuing its relentless focus on consistently exceeding guest expectations. In this time, the company’s market cap has grown from roughly $27 billion in 2013 to over $48.2 billion as of late November 2017, an increase of about 75 percent.

In addition, Carnival Corporation has expanded innovation in all areas of its business and achieved significant growth, including doubling its adjusted earnings since 2013 and recording the most profitable year in its history in 2016. Donald also recently topped the 2017 EMpower 100 Ethnic Minority Leaders List and was named a 2017 Catalyst CEO Champion for Change, recognizing his leadership and commitment to improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

With over 25 years of leadership and global procurement experience, Brown oversees global strategic sourcing and supplier relationship management as chief procurement officer of Carnival Corporation. With over 33,000 suppliers globally, she works closely with the company’s nine cruise line brands and their leadership teams to strategically procure goods and services to further strengthen the company’s supplier relationships and leverage its global scale.

Brown is on the board for the Executive Leadership Council. She also serves on the board of the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. She has been named as one of the top 100 most “Influential Blacks in Corporate America” by Savoy Magazine, the top “100 Women to Watch” by Today’s Chicago Woman and the “Top 75 Most Powerful Women in Business” by Black Enterprise magazine.

As president of the company’s Holland America Line brand, Ashford manages all aspects across the highly regarded premium brand’s 14-ship fleet, including sales, revenue management, itinerary planning, deployment, hotel operations, strategy and marketing.

With global experience in several senior leadership roles, Ashford is skilled at developing and leading high-performance teams to drive results and enhance the customer experience. Under Ashford’s leadership, the cruise line has refreshed its brand in the marketplace and elevated the onboard experience. He firmly believes in the transformational power of travel and has inspired Holland America Line’s commitment to a higher purpose to open minds, build connections and inspire shared humanity for its guests and staff as they travel the world.

Ashford holds additional notable honors, including Savoy magazine’s list of Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America; a Travvy Award for Most Innovative Executive, Mid-sized Cruises from travAlliancemedia; the 2016 Leadership Award from Bethune-Cookman University; and the 2017 StreetWise Champion by StreetWise Partners. Ashford is also Chairman of the Board for the Executive Leadership Council. His book “Talentism” addresses the global disconnect between available jobs and the millions of eligible workers.

Diversity and inclusion are business imperatives for Carnival Corporation with 10 global brands and over 120,000 employees from more than 100 countries, along with over 100 cruise ships visiting more than 700 ports around the world. Under Donald’s leadership, the company has furthered its efforts to foster innovation and creative solutions through “diversity of thinking,” producing competitive advantages to better serve guests and consistently exceed their expectations.

In addition to individual executive achievements, Carnival Corporation was named as one of the “50 Best Companies for Diversity” in 2016 by Black Enterprise magazine for its inclusivity, including workforce education, board member diversity, senior management, employee base and procurement, and was named one of the top “100 Best Corporate Citizens for 2017” by Corporate Responsibility Magazine, ranking No. 23, the highest among firms in the travel and tourism sector and the only cruise company to make the list.