Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ managing director, Mike Rodwell, retired officially at the end of August 2019, after 15 years at the helm of the company and 31 years with the Fred Olsen companies. He joined the group in 1987, first serving as an accountant on Fred Olsen’s first designated cruise ship the Black Prince.
Rodwell then spent four years as financial controller for Fred Olsen Travel, followed by a brief period as financial and commercial manager for Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, before becoming commercial director in 1995. Rodwell held that role until he became managing director of the cruise line in 2004.
“I would like to thank all of the many people whom, perhaps without even realising, have made my long career with Fred Olsen such an enjoyable one,” said Rodwell. “Over the years, I have worked in a number of varied roles at Fred Olsen and have seen the cruise lines enterprise grow from humble beginnings, with only one ship, to the hugely successful operation that it is now, with four ocean ships, our new river ship Brabant and a customer base that continues to expand, despite the market being more competitive than ever. I will look back at those 30-plus years with immense pride in all that we have achieved together, and I know that I will miss it.”
“Mike has been an integral part of the success of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines for the last 30 years,” said Fred Olsen Junior, chairman of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines. “In his time as managing director, he has been key in developing our unique style of cruising, which has placed us in such a strong position for the future growth of the business. Having worked very closely with Mike over the years, I will miss his wise counsel and good humour. Everyone at Fred Olsen wishes him the very best for the next stage of his life.”
Rodwell is succeeded by Peter Deer – previously the company’s commercial director – who took up his new role on 1 September 2019. “I am extremely grateful to Mike for his invaluable advice and support over the many years that we have worked together, and I wish him an enjoyable and well-deserved retirement,” said Deer. “I am proud to be taking the helm of our passionate, multi-award-winning cruise line, on the next leg of our historic journey. I am inheriting a first-class team, both on board and ashore, dedicated to providing unforgettable holidays across our fleet of friendlier, smaller ships. The UK cruise market will continue to grow, as many more people try taster cruises for the first time and realise that cruising offers a diverse range of experiences. We, at Fred Olsen, feel that we are in an ideal position to be able to offer this kind of immersive experience, bringing the world closer to our guests, well into the future.”
A replacement commercial director is currently being sought.