Douglas Prothero, the founder of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, is leaving his position as CEO at the cruise line, according to a post on LinkedIn. He will be replaced by current executive chairman Jim Murren. At the same time, Ernesto Fara, the company’s CFO, has been promoted to president and CFO.
"Today I announced that I am stepping away as CEO to become Strategic Advisor, in addition to Board Member, Shareholder and Founder of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection," Prothero wrote on LinkedIn. "For the last ten years I have been singularly dedicated to driving the vision and production for this incredible yachting lifestyle experience."
Prothero founded the company in 2013. Though it was plagued by delays, the first The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection vessel, Evrima, finally debuted in 2022. A second yacht, Ilma, is currently under construction at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. A third vessel, Luminara, is also on the order books.
“Doug has been a wonderful partner on the conception, development and launch of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection," said Tim Grisius, global officer, M&A, business development, and real estate at Marriott International. "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. We’re delighted to welcome Jim Murren to the company and know he will continue to drive The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s momentum both on the yachts currently under construction and our exciting plans for the future.”
Jim Murren, who takes over as head of the cruise line, has a long history in the travel industry, having served as chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International for 12 years from 2008 to 2020.
Fara joined The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection in 2020, after serving for six years as CFO and board member of Silversea Cruises.