Gebhard Rainer Appointed as CEO of HX (Hurtigruten Expeditions)

Gebhard Rainer Appointed as CEO of HX (Hurtigruten Expeditions) (Image at LateCruiseNews.com - May 2024)HX (Hurtigruten Expeditions) proudly announces the appointment of Gebhard Rainer as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Rainer’s extensive experience and strategic vision will drive HX into its next phase of growth and development. With two autonomous management teams in place for HX and Hurtigruten, current Group CEO and CEO for HX, Daniel Skjeldam, will transition to a role as a board member in Hurtigruten Group.

Initiating a new strategic plan in 2021, Hurtigruten Group has been diligently advancing through a significant reorganization to bring Hurtigruten and HX to its full potential by carving out HX as a separate company with full focus on the global expedition cruise market. 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 has been serving as both Group CEO and HX CEO during the initial stages of the transformation process of HX. He emphasized 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.”

Skjeldam highlighted Rainer’s appointment as integral to HX’s future success and expansion. He underlined: “The appointment of Rainer is a key component of our strategic plan for the future of HX. With his proven leadership and strategic acumen, knowledge of the US market and successfully running a company with strong ties to the travel trade, Rainer is ideally positioned for this key role in HX’s forward journey”.

Rainer expressed his enthusiasm for joining the HX team and his confidence in the brand’s potential for success. “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,” he said. “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.”

Gebhard Rainer brings with him a wealth of experience garnered from his notable career spanning various leadership roles. Prior to joining HX, he 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 & Chief Operating Officer further solidified his reputation as a transformative leader capable of optimizing operations and enhancing consumer experiences.

Recognizing the essential nature of Rainer’s appointment to fulfill HX’s strategic vision, building on the solid foundation that has been created, the newly appointed Chairperson of the HX Board, Alex Dichter, underscored the fundamental role Rainer will play in steering the company towards its ambitious objectives.

“His appointment reflects our commitment to ensuring the success and sustainability of HX, as well as our broader organizational objectives,” said Dichter. “Rainer brings expertise, experience, and strategic vision to our team. With his leadership, we are poised to navigate new horizons and further solidify our position as a leader in global adventure travel. His expertise will not only drive the growth of HX but also contribute significantly to achieving our overarching goals as an organization.”

Gebhard Rainer will assume the role of CEO of HX from July 15 onwards.

Daniel Skjeldam will remain CEO of both Hurtigruten Group and HX until July 15, 2024. Following the appointment of a CEO specifically for HX and the establishment of two separate and independent management teams for HX and Hurtigruten, he will transition to the role of board member at Hurtigruten Group.

He underlined: “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. 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.”

Gebhard Rainer Appointed as CEO of HX (Hurtigruten Expeditions)

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