'We are delighted to bring Michael's extensive leadership and organizational and consumer marketing experience to Grand Circle as we expand our business of providing life-enhancing, international travel experiences to Americans over 50,' Grand Circle chairman Alan Lewis said. He added the expectation that Harrison will help create a 'stronger, world-class organization' and take the company to 'the next level.'
The $600m Grand Circle Corp. serves more than 110,000 American travelers aged 50 and older annually through its brands Grand Circle Cruise Line, Overseas Adventure Travel and Grand Circle Travel.
Grand Circle Cruise Line provides cruise-tours aboard owned ships like the 89-passenger Clio, the 98-passenger Corinthian and the 50-passenger Athena, Arethusa and Artemis, and the chartered, 24-passenger Discovery. The company's owned river fleet ranges from 46-passenger vessels in France to 164-passenger Danube vessels. Its owned river fleet includes Bizet, Provence, River Adagio, River Allegro, River Aria, River Harmony and River Rhapsody.
Harrison brings more than 30 years of consumer marketing experience, most recently at Timberland, where he held various positions including co-president and chief brand officer, for close to a decade. Earlier, he worked in several executive capacities at Proctor & Gamble in the US, Australia, Japan and England, including vp Western Europe cosmetics & skin care and president and gm Max Factor KK Japan, and various marketing roles.
At Grand Circle, Harrison will oversee operations and financial performance, drive its plan for 2017 and beyond, and is tasked with helping build a world-class, traveler-centric organization. He also will lead Grand Circle's executive operating group, which oversees a worldwide organization headquartered in Boston with more than 30 regional, overseas offices, and more than 3,000 employees, guides and ship nautical and hospitality crew.
Harrison said Grand Circle has a reputation for fostering extreme customer loyalty, thanks to 'excellent itineraries and exceptional guides who connect travelers to local people and cultures.' He added he looks forward to helping the company continue to grow by 'strengthening and developing the leadership of our worldwide organization and by improving the way we market to and communicate with our travelers.'
Harrison holds an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and his BA/MA in natural sciences are from Cambridge University in England. He has lived and worked in the UK, US, Asia and Australia.