Industry veteran named CEO of MSC’s new luxury brand

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The MSC Group has named Michael Ungerer as CEO of MSC’s new luxury brand. He will report directly to Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Group’s cruises business and broader passenger division, and will be based out of the company’s global headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Ungerer joins MSC with more than 30 years of senior management experience in cruising as well as in luxury hospitality. He is an Austrian citizen and holds an executive MBA from INSEAD, where he also graduated from the Independent Director Programme.

“I am particularly pleased to make this announcement as it marks a key step forward in the setup of the organisational structure that will lead the development of our new luxury brand,” said Vago. “For us, this was a natural progression of the work done across our contemporary brand MSC Cruises since its inception, including with the development of our highly successful premium ship-within-the-ship concept, MSC Yacht Club.”

Earlier in 2019, MSC confirmed an order for four luxury cruise ships, valued at €2bn (US$2.2bn), to be built by Fincantieri. The company says the vessels will feature advanced environmental and maritime technologies.

“Central to our new luxury brand will be, above all, respect for the environment – with the introduction of new ground-breaking technologies – as well as innovation in both hardware and experience, two core MSC values that extend to all our business,” said Vago. “To this end, Michael – whom I wish to welcome to the broader MSC family – brings to the table precious and deep industry and luxury-specific experience as well as personal and professional values that are aligned with our own.”

These MSC ‘super-yachts’ will feature a broad range of new guest experiences and activities, as well as more public spaces and innovative design. The first of the four vessels will be delivered by Spring 2023. The remaining three will come into service one per year over the following three years through 2026.

“I am immensely honoured and totally excited about the opportunity this one-of-a-kind, truly outstanding project presents,” said Ungerer. “This crowns my professional career and perfectly complements my luxury hospitality and cruise industry experience. Furthermore, I am extremely proud of working closely with a visionary leader like Pierfrancesco Vago and an iconic shipping family that has been able to build a long-term sustainable business in a people-centred culture over many years with values which I deeply share.”

Image: MSC

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Marisa has been writing about transport design and the passenger experience since 2013 and is also a contributor to sister titles Aircraft Interiors International and Business Jet Interiors International. She has travelled the world extensively by car, plane, train and cruise liner.

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