In 2013, Carnival Corporation was truly in dire straits.
Tragically one of their ships capsized off the coast of Italy – thirty-two people lost their lives.
Another ship suffered a power outage, which left over four thousand passengers wading in raw sewage.
With sales dwindling, Carnival Corporation needed a miracle – fast. It came in the form of Arnold Donald, a 64-year old African-American businessman. After becoming the CEO of Carnival Cruise five years ago, Donald has turned the company into the world’s largest and most popular cruise liners.
In less than five years, Donald has pulled the company from the brink of financial collapse. Carnival Corporation has now doubled its profits and is estimated to be worth close to the $48 billion mark.
As A Child He Lived In Poverty
— Carnival Corporation (@CarnivalPLC) December 14, 2016
Donald had been involved with Carnival Corp. as a board member for 13 years. But he was not heavily involved and had never run a cruise line before.
He came out of semi-retirement to accept the offer of becoming the Carnival’s President and CEO.
Since taking over the company, Carnival Corporation has seen its highest profits in its 45-year history. It has nearly doubled in value from $27 billion in 2013 to $48 billion in 2018.
He recently made history by “opening up Cuba for the U.S. cruise industry and positively impacting its broader international travel policies.” The savvy businessman is also working with Chinese companies to further expand the company’s reach.
Donald has come a long way from his impoverished childhood and teenage years growing up in civil rights era. “If you prepare and [have] no excuses, you can pretty much do whatever you want,” he said in an interview with CNBC.
His Secret To Success Is Listening
Donald believes one of the key ingredients to his remarkable success is listening. “If you learn to listen, the world will reveal itself to you,” Donald told Forbes.
He added, “If you listen to your customers—in our case, our guests—they will tell you how to exceed their expectations. If we listen to our employees whose job it is to deliver in those areas, they will tell you how to deliver what the guest is asking for in a way that’s sustainable for the corporation and gives you the return you’re looking for.”