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Jim Murren succeeds Douglas Prothero as Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection CEO

Douglas Prothero, left, and new CEO Jim Murren
Douglas Prothero, CEO of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, has decided to step away from his current position and will be succeeded by Executive Chairman Jim Murren.

Prothero, who founded the company in 2013, will continue as a director on the board and become a strategic advisor to Murren. He's expected to still be very involved.

Murren became executive chairman in January. He served as chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International for 12 years prior to leading Nevada’s COVID-19 Response, Relief and Recovery Task Force as its gubernatorial-appointed chairman in 2020.

Prothero has been the visionary leader instrumental in driving The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection's growth from inception to the introduction of Evrima in October 2022 with two slightly larger, LNG-powered yachts, Ilma and Luminara, on the way.

'I am proud of what our team has accomplished together in raising the bar for luxury travel at sea and look forward to supporting the company’s continued success,' Prothero said. He added: 'It’s an exciting time to be an innovator in the maritime space.'

Murren's decades of experience

Murren brings decades of experience in hospitality and entertainment. Besides leading MGM Resorts International from 2008 to 2020, he currently co-chairs Cirque du Soleil. 

He is known for embracing emerging technologies to expand into new markets and create transformational luxury brands. Murren was instrumental in bringing professional sports to Las Vegas and an early leader in the sports betting marketplace.

Driving force

'We are grateful for Doug’s leadership and his dedication to the company since its inception,' Murren said. 'Under his guidance, the company has achieved significant milestones and he has been an inspirational leader and driving figure in pioneering a new luxury concept in cruise and super yachting.'

Karim Khairallah, managing director and co-portfolio manager, European Principal Group, Oaktree Capital Management, also called Prothero the driving force behind the formation of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.

'He has dedicated himself to creating a scalable platform for luxury yachting, including navigating the inception and the development of the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, while building a strong and enduring partnership with Marriott International, Inc.,' Khairallah said, adding the board and its investors look forward to a continuing partnership with Prothero.  

Marriott International's Tim Grisius, global officer, M&A, business development and real estate, called Prothero a 'wonderful partner,' adding that his 'expertise and perspective will be enormously helpful going forward as a special advisor to the company’s new CEO and as a member of the board.' Grisius also welcomed Murren.