Cruise company Hurtigruten Expeditions welcomes new CEO

Cruise company Hurtigruten Expeditions welcomes new CEO

Gebhard Rainer succeeds Daniel Skjeldam who moves on to the board

World leading expedition cruise company HX – Hurtigruten Expeditions – has announced the appointment of Gebhard Rainer as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Rainer will take on the role previously held by Daniel Skjeldam, who will transition to a board member role within the Hurtigruten Group.

According to management, Gebhard’s appointment "represents a clear focus and investment on delivering HX’s strategy and financial plan and represents HX advancing towards full autonomy with its own Executive Leadership Team and board".

Daniel Skjeldam

Skjeldam has been serving as both Group CEO and HX CEO during the initial stages of the transformation process of HX. 

He emphasised the opportune timing for appointing a CEO solely dedicated to HX, stating: "We have now set the right direction for HX, both when it comes to introducing a new brand and establishing and executing the first parts of the new long-term strategy. With the split between Hurtigruten and HX in its final phase, I believe the timing is ideal to bring in a dedicated CEO for HX to develop the company to its full potential."

Rainer said: "I'm thrilled to embark on this journey with HX and to contribute to our shared vision for expedition travel that is mindful, responsibly low-impact, and considerate of our surroundings. The opportunities ahead are truly exciting, and I look forward to leveraging HX's strengths to drive innovation, growth, and positive impact in the expedition travel industry."

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Prior to joining HX, Rainer served as CEO of Sandals Resorts International, where he successfully navigated the complexities of the luxury hospitality industry while driving significant business growth. 

His tenure at Coach as President and Chief Operating Officer further solidified his reputation as a transformative leader capable of optimizing operations and enhancing consumer experiences.

Rainer will assume the role of CEO of HX from 15 July 2024 onwards. Skjeldam will remain CEO of both Hurtigruten Group and HX until then.

Following the appointment of a CEO specifically for HX and the establishment of two separate and independent management teams for HX and Hurtigruten, Skjeldam will transition to the role of board member at Hurtigruten Group.

"With HX and Hurtigruten at the appropriate stage of the transformation process to become fully independent companies, I am absolutely confident that both companies now have a great leadership to take them forward on executing their strategy,” he said. “In my new role as a board member, I see great potential for both HX and Hurtigruten, and I eagerly anticipate supporting their further development."

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