Carnival Cruise Ships

January 17, 2012 by staff 

Carnival Cruise ShipsCarnival Cruise Ships, Carnival Corp. dropped the most since April 2009 after the cruise company’s worst accident, as Chief Executive Officer Micky Arison oversees the response from Miami, 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) from the Italian site.

Company officials have joined local authorities in blaming the captain for getting too close to the island of Giglio in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Arison, who built the business to almost $16 billion in annual revenue, has so far left it to regional Costa Crociere SpA cruise managers to face the press since the Costa Concordia ran aground Jan. 13, leaving at least 11 dead and 24 missing.

Public appearances by CEOs are generally important in helping companies regain consumer confidence following accidents, said Peter Hirsch, director of reputation risk at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide. For Arison, 62, the need to soothe concerns may be urgent as this is the peak season for cruise bookings.

“Whenever there are fatalities and serious injuries, it’s important for the most senior leadership to be visible,” Hirsch said, without specifically commenting on Carnival. “Some visibility is certainly a good thing.”

Arison, whose father founded Carnival in 1972, and Chief Operating Officer Howard Frank are helping coordinate actions with authorities in Italy from Florida, the Miami-based cruise operator said. Carnival has hired communication consultants Burson-Marsteller, PRWeek reported.

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