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Business Analysis & Features

Spotlight On: Micky Arison, chairman and chief executive of Carnival Corporation


So who is this captain of industry?

He is the boss of the world's biggest cruise company, Carnival. It operates 101 cruise liners (100 as of Saturday morning) around the world, particularly in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. It carried 9.6 million passengers in 2011 and generated profits $1.9bn (£1.2bn) on revenues of $15.8bn.

How did he get where he is today?

His father, Ted Arison, founded the company with one ship in 1972. Micky dropped out of Miami University in order to join his pop's business, starting out as reservations manager in 1974. He moved up the ladder, on to the board and finally succeeded his father as chairman in 1990.

What's he done for Carnival?

Big acquisitions. He kicked off with the purchase of Holland America Line in 1989, progressed to take over Seabourn Cruise Line and Queen Mary 2 owner Cunard, and topped it all with the hard-fought, $8.2bn takeover of P&O Princess Cruises in 2002.

Is he rich?

Just a tad. Forbes magazine rated him the 169th-wealthiest person in the world in 2011, but also noted that his was the fastest-falling fortune that year, down to a mere $4.2bn. He earned $7m in pay, bonus and shares last year, and is a well-known philanthropist and supporter of the arts. Micky donated his $2.4m annual bonus from Carnival in 2004 to tsunami relief efforts and $2.5m from his 2005 bonus to hurricane relief. His sister is reportedly the wealthiest woman in Israel.

Spare time?

He owns the Miami Heat basketball team, which tends to dominate his tweeting. He paid the lion's share of the bill for their new, $213m stadium. He is also a holder of France's Légion d'honneur for services to the cruise industry.