Micky Arison, majority owner of the Miami Heat, which last week won the NBA championship, will step down as chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation, the company announced Tuesday.
In a release, Carnival explained that it has decided to split up Arison's dual roles of chairman and CEO. Arison, who became CEO of Carnival in 1979, will remain chairman of the company, and Arnold Donald will take over as CEO next month.
“I have been discussing this with the board for some time now and feel the timing is right to align our company with corporate governance best practices and turn over the reins after 34 years as CEO,” Arison said in a statement issued by the company Tuesday. “As chairman, I will still be working closely with Arnold to ensure a great future for all our stakeholders.”
The announcement comes just months after Arison, whose father founded Carnival, was seen at a Miami Heat game while thousands of passengers suffered adrift for days on a ship later dubbed the “poop cruise," after an engine room fire crippled its plumbing services. The company ultimately apologized for the conditions on the ship and issued customers full refunds.
Arison announced in April that his company would refund taxpayers for the cost of the Coast Guard's assistance during the disaster, as well as for another incident in 2010.