Jo Rzymowska to step down from Celebrity Cruises

Jo Rzymowska is to step down as Celebrity Cruises’ EMEA vice-president and managing director in June 2023.

The industry stalwart, who began her cruise career in 2005 working for the line’s parent Royal Caribbean Group, said she wanted to leave “the party in full swing” as she announced her decision.

She explained she wants to “explore” non-executive directorships of smaller businesses as well as coaching and mentoring roles to develop “the younger generation” in the “phenomenal” travel industry.

Rzymowska told Travel Weekly: “I am passionate about the whole diversity, equity and inclusion arena and how I might be able to lead and advise in this space.

“I am not going on to another big corporate, but I would love to explore some non-executive directorships of smaller businesses, working with wonderful people where I can really give something back.”

During her Royal Caribbean Group career, Rzymowska launched “numerous” ships from Legend of the Seas – the first UK-based Royal Caribbean ship – and, most recently, Celebrity Beyond in Southampton this year.

She added: “I have loved every minute of my 18 years with the Royal Caribbean Group. I have had the honour to lead an incredible team whose passion and commitment to the business is unwavering.

“I know this team will continue to go from strength to strength, as Celebrity Cruises grows in the region.  I remain 100% committed to the business as I work through the transition plans with the team. The time is simply now right for me to hand over the mantle.”

Celebrity Cruises said: “During her tenure Celebrity’s business in the region nearly doubled and she oversaw the brand’s elevation into the luxury space as recognised through numerous industry awards.”

Rzymowska has served on the Clia UK and Ireland board for many years, including as board chair from 2011 to 2013.

She was recognised for her contributions to the travel industry with the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Travel Weekly Globe Awards in 2017 and was recently named one of the world’s best LGBT+ executive role models.

Rzymowska highlighted how she was “particularly grateful” to Celebrity Cruises’ president and chief executive Lisa Lutoff-Perlo “for her unwavering support of my long and fulfilling career here” along with “group chief executive Jason Liberty and the strong collaboration from the entire executive leadership team”.

Lutoff-Perlo called Rzymowska “irreplaceable”, adding: “I have had the good fortune to know Jo for many years and it has been incredibly rewarding to work hand-in-hand with her to build the Celebrity brand together in this region.

“I will miss her terribly when the time comes. For now, I look forward to continuing to work with her through this transition period. With the strong team and strategic foundation in place throughout the UK and EMEA, I know that Celebrity Cruises has an incredible future and will continue to reach new heights.”

Liberty added: “She holds a special place in the hearts of so many of our international trade partners and colleagues.

“It is with deep gratitude that I thank her for her dedication to the Royal Caribbean Group over the years.”

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