MIAMI: Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company, announced John Padgett as president of Princess Cruises, effective immediately.
Serving as president of one of Carnival Corporation’s most iconic cruise line brands, Padgett will oversee all performance and operational functions of Princess Cruises and its global fleet of 14 ships sailing cruise guests to nearly 400 destinations around the world annually. He will report directly to Jan Swartz, group president of Holland America Group, which includes the company’s Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn and P&O Cruises Australia brands. Swartz has served as president of Princess Cruises since 2013, guiding the brand’s strategic growth as the world’s leading international premium cruise line and its emergence as a leader in innovating the total guest experience for cruise vacations.
Since July 2014, Padgett has served as chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation, responsible for guest experience innovation, development, creation and operations integration. In this role, he helped transform the approach to creating differentiated guest experiences based on personal interactions and tailored to the interests and preferences of individual guests, further enhancing one of the world’s most popular vacations. Headlining the 2017 CES show with Princess Cruises’ innovation and creating an extensive patent portfolio, Padgett and his innovation team also created original TV and digital content programming highlighting the extraordinary experiences guests enjoy while on a cruise vacation for over 900 million viewers around the world, expanding awareness and demand-generation for cruising. In his new role, Padgett will also retain leadership of the corporation’s innovation unit.
Specifically for the Princess Cruises brand, Padgett has been a key player in the development and implementation of the Princess MedallionClass® experience delivering a more personalized, simplified and connected onboard experience for all guests and crew that is now available on the entire Princess fleet. This includes the creation and development of the award-winning Medallion® wearable device and the enabling OCEAN® platform that enhances and personalizes the overall cruise experience ranging from world-class dining and beverages, entertainment and spas to on-shore excursions, merchandise and hotel guest services. Throughout the fleet transformation, Padgett became connected with thousands of Princess guests, travel agents and destination partners spanning the world.
“John is the mastermind behind our state-of-the-art OCEAN platform and was a key player in our fleet transformation, working closely with Princess team members in virtually every area of our operation to enable the MedallionClass experience for all our guests,” said Swartz. “John’s vision, drive and performance, combined with his commitment to providing the best guest experience in the industry, have helped position Princess for success well into the future. We warmly welcome John to the role and look forward to his stewardship as we navigate this fast-changing, dynamic environment.”
“Carnival Corporation’s cruise brand portfolio, global fleets, destinations and most importantly dedicated shipboard and shoreside teams have provided an unmatched platform to drive guest-focused innovation,” said Padgett. “The opportunity to lead the iconic Princess brand and to help take the cruise content — including hotel, food and beverage, entertainment, merchandise and destination experiences — to new levels is an absolute honor.”
Prior to becoming chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation, Padgett worked for 18 years with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts where he spearheaded the invention, development and implementation of guest engagement innovations that include the MagicBand, FastPass+ and Disney’s Magical Express, among others.
Padgett earned a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Virginia Tech and holds over two dozen patents and multiple innovation awards.