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NEW YORK, January 27, 2021 – Sycamore Partners, a leading private equity firm, today announced that Orlando Ashford has been appointed as the incoming Executive Chairman of Azamara, the upmarket, boutique cruise line dedicated to Destination Immersion® experiences. Ashford’s appointment will become effective upon the completion of Sycamore’s acquisition of Azamara, which is expected to occur in Q1.
“We are pleased for Orlando to take on this role as Azamara embarks on its next chapter supported by Sycamore Partners,” said Stefan Kaluzny, Managing Director of Sycamore Partners. “Orlando brings significant leadership experience as well as specific expertise in the cruise and travel industry, making him well-suited to serve as Azamara’s Executive Chairman.”
“I am thrilled to be appointed to the role of Executive Chairman at this exciting time for Azamara, having long admired the business and the brand,” said Ashford. “I believe Azamara is uniquely positioned in the industry, and I look forward to executing on our shared vision for growth. Together with the Azamara team, we’ll focus on offering Azamara’s loyal customers more of what they have come to know and love.”
“I look forward to working with Orlando, who has equal passion for the cruise industry and the very special product Azamara offers,” said Carol Cabezas, President, Azamara. “With the recent news of a planned addition to the fleet, Orlando will bring perspective that will support expansion of the brand while maintaining and growing the unique programming and itineraries beloved by guests and travel industry partners.”
Ashford’s appointment as Executive Chairman of Azamara follows his five-plus year role as President of Holland America Line where he successfully rejuvenated the brand. Before that, Ashford was President of the Talent Business Segment for Mercer, the global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Previous to Mercer, he served as Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Communications Officer of Mercer's parent company, Marsh & McLennan Companies. Earlier in his career, Ashford held several leadership roles with organizations such as Coca-Cola, Motorola, Ameritech and Andersen Consulting. He currently serves on the board of directors of ITT, Inc., Perrigo Company plc, Array Technologies Inc. and Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.
Sycamore Partners is a private equity firm based in New York. The firm specializes in consumer, distribution and retail-related investments and partners with management teams to improve the operating profitability and strategic value of their business. With approximately $10 billion in aggregate committed capital raised since its inception in 2011, Sycamore Partners’ investors include leading endowments, financial institutions, family offices, pension plans and sovereign wealth funds. For more information on Sycamore Partners, visit www.sycamorepartners.com.
Azamara is an upmarket cruise line and the leader in Destination Immersion® experiences, presently with three mid-sized ships sailing to all seven continents of the world, with an additional fourth ship scheduled to join the fleet in 2022. The boutique-style ships allow them to reach marquee ports around the world and dock in smaller, less-visited hidden gems. Azamara’s commitment to creating immersive experiences for travelers to connect with local cultures allows guests to travel deeper with longer stays, more overnights, and night touring. Guests can experience a boutique hotel at sea with inclusive amenities such as gratuities, beverages, cultural events and more. For more information on Azamara and future sailings, visit www.azamara.com.
For Sycamore Partners:
Michael Freitag or Arielle Rothstein
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
Hue & Cry