Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Managing Director, Mike Rodwell, retired officially this week, after 15 years in the role and 31 years with the Fred. Olsen companies.
Mike’s successor as Managing Director, Peter Deer – previously Commercial Director – took up his new role on 1st September 2019.
Mike has worked across a number of the Fred. Olsen businesses since he joined the group in 1987, with his first role as accountant for Fred. Olsen’s first-ever designated cruise ship, Black Prince.
Following this initial role, Mike spent four years as Financial Controller for Fred. Olsen Travel, before a brief period as Financial and Commercial Manager for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, from September 1994 to November 1995.
It was then that Mike became Commercial Director, a role that he held for eight-and-a-half years, before he was promoted to Managing Director of the cruise line in 2004.
Mike Rodwell said: “I would like to thank all of the many people whom, perhaps without even realising, have made my long career with Fred. Olsen such an enjoyable one.
“Over the years, I have worked in a number of varied roles at Fred. Olsen and have seen the Cruise Lines enterprise grow from humble beginnings, with only one ship, to the hugely successful operation that it is now, with four ocean ships, our new river ship Brabant and a customer base that continues to expand, despite the market being more competitive than ever.
“I will look back at those 30-plus years with immense pride in all that we have achieved together, and I know that I will miss it.”
Fred. Olsen Jnr, Chairman of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “Mike has been an integral part of the success of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines for the last 30 years. In his time as Managing Director, he has been key in developing our unique style of cruising, which has placed us in such a strong position for the future growth of the business.
“Having worked very closely with Mike over the years, I will miss his wise counsel and good humour. Everyone at Fred. Olsen wishes him the very best for the next stage of his life.”
Peter Deer, new Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:
“I am extremely grateful to Mike for his invaluable advice and support over the many years that we have worked together, and I wish him an enjoyable and well-deserved retirement.
“I am proud to be taking the helm of our passionate, multi-award-winning cruise line, on the next leg of our historic journey. I am inheriting a first-class team, both on board and ashore, dedicated to providing unforgettable holidays across our fleet of friendlier, smaller ships.
“The UK cruise market will continue to grow, as many more people try ‘taster’ cruises for the first time and realise that cruising offers a diverse range of experiences.
“We, at Fred. Olsen, feel that we are in an ideal position to be able to offer this kind of immersive experience, bringing the world ‘closer’ to our guests, well into the future.”
A replacement Commercial Director is currently being sought.