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Antorcha is HAL president, Palomba is Carnival COO, Thamm and Zanetti add duties

CRUISE Thamm, Zanetti, Palomba, Antorcha.jpg
Michael Thamm, far left, takes on the Costa presidency as Mario Zanetti, pictured with him, adds chief commercial officer duties. Neil Palomba, center, becomes Carnival Cruise Line COO while Gus Antorcha, right, is Holland America's new president
Costa Cruises President Neil Palomba is moving to Carnival Cruise Line as EVP/COO, with Carnival COO Gus Antorcha appointed Holland America Line president.

Thamm adds Costa presidency, Zanetti chief commercial role

Michael Thamm, group CEO, Costa Group and Carnival Asia, assumes the Costa presidency, with Mario Zanetti named chief commercial officer of Costa Cruises.

'As part of our ongoing efforts to continue enhancing our global operations, these moves clearly demonstrate the depth and strength of our leadership team,' said Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corp. & plc. 'We are using this pause in guest operations to evaluate every aspect of our business, including our leadership structures, and make changes where appropriate to improve our business.

'Gus and Neil are both proven and strategic leaders within our organization,' Donald added, 'and we are looking forward to their contributions and success in these new roles as we position our company and our brands for a bright future.'

Gus Antorcha

Reporting to Stein Kruse, group CEO, Holland America Group and Carnival UK, Antorcha will guide HAL's return to service and plans for growth, including sales and marketing, revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, public relations, guest services operations and strategic planning.

In more than nine years at Carnival, he's held key leadership roles. Prior to COO, he served as EVP guest services, responsible for on-board operations, and SVP guest commerce. He joined Carnival from Boston Consulting Group.

Kruse welcomed Antorcha, citing his 'impressive qualifications, boundless energy and passion for the cruise industry.' He added: 'I’ve worked with him often during his time at Carnival Cruise Line and know that he brings extensive experience in many disciplines within the cruise and travel business. Gus always demonstrates strategic vision, fiscal awareness and superior leadership with a keen ability to keep his eye on the end result to ensure success.' 

Neil Palomba

At Carnival, Palomba will report to President Christine Duffy, with responsibilities including oversight of hotel operations, guest services, guest commerce and guest care. 

In the next weeks, Palomba will continue to oversee the resumption of Costa operations to ensure a smooth transition while progressively taking over his new duties.

Since February 2015, he has led Costa Cruises, managing all aspects of the brand including strategy, product design, guest care, sales, marketing, revenue management and fleet deployment, among others. Under Palomba's leadership, Costa introduced its 'Italy's Finest' brand positioning, debuted a number of on-board experience innovations and launched Costa Smeralda, the brand's first LNG-powered ship.

Before becoming president, Palomba served as SVP hotel operations and guest experience beginning in January 2014. Previously, he held multiple leadership positions in the cruise industry, working up to corporate operating officer at MSC Cruises following multiple onshore and on-board roles, including positions in the hotel and deck departments and serving as second officer.

Thamm thanked Palomba for his 'outstanding contribution to the success of Costa Cruises in the past six years.'

Mario Zanetti

Zanetti, in his new assignment, will be based in Genoa and hold responsibility for the overall commercial operation of the company, reporting to Thamm, while keeping his role of Costa Group Asia president.

Zanetti has served as a senior Costa executive over the last two decades. Heading Costa Asia, he has strengthened the business there by executing new strategies and renewing the fleet.