Seatrade Cruise News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Virgin's Lee Haslett to succeed Leslie Peden at Celestyal Cruises

Haslett begins the role February 20, taking over from Leslie Peden who has been with the company for more than five years
Seasoned travel industry executive Lee Haslett will take over from Leslie Peden as Celestyal Cruises' chief commercial officer next month.

Haslett, who has a wide range of experience with tour operations and airlines, joins Celestyal from Virgin. Based in the UK and sharing his time between the US, the main European markets and Greece, he will report to Celestyal CEO Chris Theophilides.

Peden has spent more than five years at the cruise line, initially as VP North America before becoming CCO.

Will head up a 60-strong team

Theophilides said of Haslett, who takes up the role February 20, ‘Lee joins Celestyal at an exciting time, as we intensify our efforts and invest in substantially broadening Celestyal’s presence in key markets. 

‘Fresh on the heels of Celestyal significantly growing our trade-facing commercial team, Lee will oversee a global team of over 60 travel professionals covering the whole spectrum of Celestyal’s commercial activities including sales, strategic business development, marketing, commercial PR functions, contact centers as well as revenue management.’

Lee Haslett

Haslett joined Virgin Holidays in 2008, leading retail expansion before holding various roles across the business, including head of retail and VP product and distribution.

He was most recently the VP global sales for Virgin Atlantic where he led its sales transformation plan, focused on key North American and European markets, and played a key role in the company’s commercial leadership team.

Added Theophilides, ‘As we pivot Celestyal to reinforce our brand proposition of destination-rich, immersive travel experiences, we continue to develop our commercial team to meet new challenges. 

Leslie Peden is thanked

He thanked Peden for his 'significant contributions to position Celestyal for future success,' adding 'He has been an integral part of the company’s senior leadership, and we wholeheartedly wish him all the best in his new endeavours.’

More news to come

The CEO said Celestyal will have additional announcements in the near future.