Laura Hodges Bethge, currently executive vice president of shared services operations for Royal Caribbean Group, will take over as president of Celebrity Cruises, effective May 1. The change comes about as Lisa Lutoff-Perlo transitions to a new role as vice chair, external affairs for Royal Caribbean Group.
"Lisa has been instrumental in transforming the Celebrity Cruises brand to what it is today," said Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group. "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. I have 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."
"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," said Lutoff-Perlo. "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 towards an even brighter future."
Lutoff-Perlo's career with Royal Caribbean Group began in 1985 with her first role as a district sales manager. In 2005, she became Celebrity's first female senior vice president of hotel operations. Then, in 2012 she was named executive vice president of operations for Royal Caribbean International, the first woman in the industry to oversee both hotel and marine operations. Two years later, she was the first woman appointed to president and CEO of one of Royal Caribbean Group's brands.
During her time at Celebrity, she led the cruise line to record growth, revenue, and profit. Under her leadership, Celebrity Cruises welcomed four new ships, and underwent the Celebrity Revolution, one of the largest fleet revitalization projects in the industry.
Most recently serving as executive vice president, shared services operations, Laura Hodges Bethge has been with Royal Caribbean Group more than 23 years and has held senior positions in several areas including product development, hotel and marine operations, sales, marketing, product innovation, market development, and investor relations.
Among her many roles, she served as senior vice president of product development for Royal Caribbean International, and led the teams conceptualizing the line's private island destinations, including the first island in Royal Caribbean's Perfect Day Island Collection – Perfect Day at CocoCay.
"Now 15 ships strong, this is an exciting time for Celebrity Cruises," said Hodges Bethge. "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."