The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection announced today that Founder and CEO Douglas Prothero has decided to step away from his current leadership position.
He will be succeeded as CEO by Jim Murren, a global hospitality leader credited with leading MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas and the State of Nevada, through a period of expansion and environmentally sustainable, technological innovation, the company said.
Prothero will continue as a Director on the Company’s Board of Directors and will become a Strategic Advisor to the Executive Chairman and CEO, effective May 10.
Prothero said: “I am proud of what our team has accomplished together in raising the bar for luxury travel at sea and look forward to supporting the Company’s continued success. It’s an exciting time to be an innovator in the maritime space.”
Jim Murren who has been Executive Chairman since January 2023 will be stepping into the CEO role alongside his chair responsibilities.
Murren has decades of experience in hospitality and entertainment having been Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International from 2008 to 2020 and presently as Co-Chairman of Cirque du Soleil. Throughout his career, his strategic vision has generated world-class entertainment while fostering innovation and sustainability.
Murren is known to embrace emerging technologies to expand into new markets and creating transformational luxury brands around the world and has successfully navigated both emerging and developed markets creating significant value against the backdrop of multiple global financial crises.
Murren’s leadership was instrumental to bringing professional sports to Las Vegas and was an early leader in the sports betting marketplace. The Board and the Company’s owners concluded that as the Company embarks on a rapidly growing cruise and super yachting transformation, Murren is uniquely qualified to lead the Company through this exciting period.
“We are grateful for Doug’s leadership and his dedication to the Company since its inception. Under his guidance, the Company has achieved significant milestones and he has been an inspirational leader and driving figure in pioneering a new luxury concept in cruise and super yachting.” said Murren.
“I am honored to take the role of CEO and look forward to collaborating with the talented team to continue to drive growth and innovation. Thanks to Doug, we have a strong foundation to build upon, and we will continue to deliver a truly unique luxury cruise and super yachting experience, which will be unparalleled in the expanding luxury market,” Jim said.
“Doug, as the Founder of the Company, has been the pioneer and impactful driving force behind the formation of the Company. He has dedicated himself to creating a scalable platform for luxury yachting, including navigating the inception and the development of the Company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, while building a strong and enduring partnership with Marriott International, Inc. (Marriott International). The Board and its investors look forward to its continuing partnership with Doug” said Karim Khairallah, Managing Director and Co-Portfolio Manager, European Principal Group, Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (Oaktree).
“Doug has been a wonderful partner on the conception, development and launch of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. 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” said Tim Grisius, Global Officer, M&A, Business Development, and Real Estate at Marriott International.