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Laura Hodges Bethge to succeed Lisa Lutoff-Perlo as Celebrity Cruises president

Laura Hodges Bethge, left, will take the Celebrity helm May 1 as Lisa Lutoff-Perlo moves to vice chair, external affairs, Royal Caribbean Group
Laura Hodges Bethge, EVP shared services operations, Royal Caribbean Group, will succeed Lisa Lutoff-Perlo as president of Celebrity Cruises.

Lutoff-Perlo will transition to vice chair, external affairs for Royal Caribbean Group, and continue reporting to Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO Jason Liberty.

The changes take effect May 1.

'Incredible career'

'Lisa has been instrumental in transforming the Celebrity Cruises brand to what it is today,' Liberty said. 'From helping us introduce the revolutionary Edge series of ships to advancing the role of women in maritime careers, Lisa has had an incredible career during her time leading Celebrity Cruises, and multiple parts of our Royal Caribbean International brand.'

Liberty added he's 'had the pleasure of working with Lisa for almost 18 years, and I know her expertise will be invaluable as she transitions to serve as my vice chair, external affairs.'

Lutoff-Perlo has served as president and CEO of Celebrity since December 2014.

'It has always been difficult for me to imagine leaving the incredible Celebrity brand, but the time is right for me to start an exciting new chapter and turn the helm over to a new leader,' she said today. 'It has been my great honor to lead this brand and work alongside the phenomenal Celebrity shoreside team and crew. Together, our accomplishments have been extraordinary. I'm excited to now work closely with Jason on broader initiatives as we sail toward an even brighter future.'

Hodges Bethge's ascent

Liberty also congratulated Hodges Bethge, who has 23 years of experience in the company, holding senior positions in many areas including product development, hotel and marine operations, sales, marketing, product innovation, market development and investor relations. She has been EVP shared services operations since February 2022 and was seen as destined for a brand leadership role.

'With her operational experience, business acumen and deep understanding of our company and the cruise industry, I know Laura is the right person to lead Celebrity Cruises to its next phases of growth,' Liberty said.

Hodges Bethge previously was SVP product development for Royal Caribbean International, and led the teams conceptualizing its ships, private island destinations and new experiences including Perfect Day at CocoCay.

'Now 15 ships strong, this is an exciting time for Celebrity Cruises,' Hodges Bethge said. 'This year alone, we'll be welcoming Celebrity Ascent, and reaching key construction milestones in the yet-to-be-named fifth ship in the revolutionary Edge series. I look forward to building on the incredible achievements of Lisa and this world class team, as we continue to break boundaries and chart new courses in the industry.'

Trailblazer Lutoff-Perlo

Lutoff-Perlo's trailblazing career with Royal Caribbean began in 1985 as a district sales manager. In 2005, she became Celebrity's first female SVP hotel operations. In 2012, she was named EVP operations for Royal Caribbean International, the first woman in the industry to oversee both hotel and marine operations. Two years later, she became the first woman appointed to president and CEO of a Royal Caribbean Group brand.

Moreover, Lutoff-Perlo opened many opportunities for women in shipboard roles, including appointing the first US woman captain of a major cruise ship, and encouraging the recruitment of women in deck, engine and hotel roles.

She led Celebrity Cruises to record growth, revenue and profit, and championed many brand hallmarks and dynamic marketing campaigns. Besides ushering in the Edge-class ships, Lutoff-Perlo oversaw the Celebrity Revolution, one of cruising's largest fleet revitalization projects.


For her advisory services, Lutoff-Perlo will receive an annual base salary of $360,000 and remain eligible for a bonus. These terms are applicable until April 25, 2024.

See also 'New reporting lines for Royal Caribbean Group shared services operations'