One of the industry’s iconic global brands and a revenue giant in the travel and tourism sector, Royal Caribbean International is known for driving innovation at sea and has continuously redefined cruise vacationing since its launch in 1969. As the world’s largest cruise brand, each successive class of ship is an architectural marvel that pushes the envelope of what is possible on a cruise ship. Indeed, the brand represents a rare hybrid of all sectors in the hospitality industry – hotel, restaurant, casino gaming, travel, retail and entertainment – all within a singular business that happens to be mobile. Onboard, the global cruise line, therefore, has debuted countless industry 'firsts' – such as rock climbing, ice skating and surfing at sea – to capture the imagination of families and adventurous vacationers alike. As of March 2017, the line is operating 25 ships, has six additional ships on order, serves 77 visiting port companies, operates across six continents and controls 21.9% of the cruise market worldwide.

The Engagement

Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International Ltd., is recognised as one of the most progressive leaders in the company’s history. He has the distinction of being the only executive who started his career at Royal Caribbean, working a variety of shipboard and shoreside positions and gaining increasing management responsibility. This has given Bayley a unique perspective as a leader and an ongoing, passionate focus on service and brand standards across all aspects of the business. To that end, Bayley enlisted the support of AETHOSTM, the 20|20 Assess® team and it organisational psychology expertise in a series of performance management and team development initiatives during Royal Caribbean International’s initial growth phase, including:

  • Leveraging 20|20 Skills® psychometric testing for critical hires
  • 'Soft 360' performance evaluations and SWOT analyses for the senior leadership team
  • Individual coaching and development support programs for senior leaders as needed
  • Executive coaching for Bayley to gain feedback and maintain accountability to his team

Most of these projects were interrelated and tied to Bayley’s focus on maximising and aligning the people and business practices at Royal Caribbean. This was done in part by his strategic restructuring and streamlining of the organisation chart for greater efficiency and effectiveness in his supervision of direct reports, understanding the developmental needs of his team to guide his mentorship responsibilities, and planning and implementing an international growth plan.

The Outcome

Many accomplishments were realised during the course of these 20|20 initiatives:

  • Michael Bayley gained three promotions as a result of his leadership development and the financial and brand-building performance it stimulated – he now serves as the second highest ranking executive within the parent company, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
  • Royal Caribbean International successively established a global presence, spanning 11 regional offices established in just four years, with outstanding value creation for shareholders. The business now accounts for more than 50% of the total revenue for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
  • Bayley significantly streamlined the reporting structure of Royal Caribbean International, allowing him to optimally balance his time between tactical aspects of operations and the strategic elements of business growth and brand-building ('modern luxury') at the corporate and Board of Directors levels.
  • Bayley and his team have consistently exceeded performance expectations, with double-digit adjusted earnings growth from 2012 to 2016.