Carnival Corporation has announced that Princess Cruises has a new president, effective immediately.
John Padgett has stepped into the head role of the premium brand, and will oversee all performance and operational functions of Princess and its fleet of 14 ships around the world.
He will report directly to Jan Swartz, previous president of Princess and now group president of Holland America Group which includes Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, and P&O Cruises Australia.
Since July 2014, Padgett has served as chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation, responsible for guest experience innovation, development, creation, and operations integration. In that role, he helped transform the approach to creating unique guest experiences based on personal interactions and tailored to the preferences of individual passengers.
Headlining the 2017 CES show, Padgett and his innovation team also created original TV and digital content programming highlighting the experiences guests enjoy while taking a cruise. In his new role as president of Princess, he will retain leadership of the corporation’s innovation unit.
Specifically for Princess, Padgett has been a key player in the development and implementation of the Princess MedallionClass experience that is now available across the entire Princess fleet.
This includes the creation and development of the wearable Medallion device, and the enabling OCEAN platform that enhances and personalizes the cruising experience in everything from dining and beverages to entertainment, shore excursions, hotel guest services, and more.
“John is the mastermind behind our state-of-the-art OCEAN platform and was a key player in our fleet transformation, working closely with Princess team members in virtually every area of our operation to enable the MedallionClass experience for all our guests,” said Swartz.
“John’s vision, drive and performance, combined with his commitment to providing the best guest experience in the industry, have helped position Princess for success well into the future. We warmly welcome John to the role and look forward to his stewardship as we navigate this fast-changing, dynamic environment.”
Prior to becoming chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation, Padgett worked for 18 years with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts where he spearheaded the invention, development, and implementation of guest engagement innovations that include the MagicBand, FastPass+, and Disney’s Magical Express.
Padgett earned a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Virginia Tech, and holds over two dozen patents and multiple innovation awards.