One of the few American women leading a multi-billion-dollar company, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo is a trailblazer in the global hospitality industry. She is recognized as the driving force behind transforming and re-defining today’s new luxury cruise experience and building demand with unparalleled brand vision and stewardship; award-winning guest service and operational expertise; and an innate ability for building high-performing, culturally-inclusive teams, among others.
Taking the helm as president and chief executive officer (CEO) at Celebrity Cruises in 2014, Lutoff-Perlo led the company into an era of unprecedented growth, including record financial performance and shareholder value. She doubled operating income; delivered double-digit ROIC and double-digit yield improvement; and increased EBITDA by 70%. Along with accelerated financial performance, Celebrity also introduced the critically acclaimed Edge Series of ships in 2018, has achieved historic levels of guest satisfaction, and has won hundreds of top industry awards for innovation and service, all under her leadership.
She is a member of the board of directors of Fortune 500 company AutoNation (NYSE: AN), America’s largest and most recognized automotive retailer, where she sits on the Audit and Governance Committees. She also actively lends her expertise to numerous international and regional nonprofit organization boards, including Best Buddies Global Board of Directors, United Way of Broward County and Nova Southeastern University Broward Center of Innovation.
Throughout her 35 years in the company, and prior to becoming CEO, Lutoff-Perlo enjoyed a succession of progressive sales, marketing and operations leadership roles at Royal Caribbean Group with expanding scope, responsibility and profit and loss oversight. In 2005, she became Celebrity’s first female senior vice president of Hotel Operations. In 2012, she was named executive vice president of Operations for Royal Caribbean International – the first woman in the industry to oversee both hotel and marine operations. Two short years later, she was the first woman appointed to CEO of one of Royal Caribbean Group’s brands.
Known as a bold and strategic innovator with a keen ability to identify market opportunities, tap into consumer trends and motivate entire organizations to effectively execute them with an unwavering commitment to excellence and results, some of her significant accomplishments have included:
- Overseeing more than $5B in capex investment to envision and deliver the most ergonomic and stunning ships at sea, and modernizing the existing Celebrity fleet, resulting in record yield improvement for the company.
- Leveraging data analytics as an essential component to better understand consumer motivations; evaluate campaigns; personalize digital content; trigger loyalty; and, ultimately, attract new audiences.
- Rebranding Celebrity as a “new luxury” line and solidifying industry-leading luxury brand partnerships with such organizations as Forbes Travel Guide, Chef Daniel Boulud and American Ballet Theater.
- Increasing marketing spend by 47% to increase brand awareness and conversion of affluent vacationers.
- Achieving record employee engagement with a global workforce of more than 20,000 crew members from over 70 different countries sailing to 300 destinations around the world and developing a new, award-winning service culture that resulted in a historic eight-point increase in net promoter scores in just three years.
- Establishing and leading the industry-first consolidated Global Marine Organization, overseeing 62 ships and six brands throughout Royal Caribbean Group’s fleet, maximizing efficiencies and best practices.
- Catalyzing cultural innovation in the 200-year-old-industry, in 2015, Lutoff-Perlo appointed the first American woman as captain in the Celebrity fleet and ultimately increased Celebrity’s percentage of women on the bridge from 3% to 27% in just five years, exceeding the industry average of 2%.
Lutoff-Perlo has received numerous awards for her groundbreaking contributions to the cruise and travel industry, as well as the South Florida business community, gender equality, and diversity and inclusion. She was granted an honorary doctorate from Nova Southeastern University and received lifetime achievement awards from the Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA) and Women in Travel, a Leadership in Diversity award from the Committee for Economic Development, and a prestigious Eleanor Roosevelt Center Val-Kill Medal of Honor, which acknowledges individuals whose far-reaching influence has made our world a better place. Additionally, she was inducted into the International Hall of Fame by the Maritime Association of the Port of New York and New Jersey.