A couple of days ago, Cruise industry News reported that, according to NCL’s 2015 Annual Report, Kevin Sheehan received a severance package from NCL last year totaling $13,400,000 (million).
Mr. Sheehan resigned unexpectedly in January last year amidst some controversy.
The annual report in question, which you can see here, specified a "a total severance expense of $13.4 million of which $8.2 million was due to the acceleration of the equity-based awards which was recorded in January 2015."
In an industry which includes cruise CEO’s who make the big bucks like multi-billionaire Micky Arison and multi-millionaire Richard Fain, perhaps this is just business as usual.
But it must be hard to swallow for some crew members who work around the clock for peanuts, and without any real benefits. Crew members can be fired without cause. There is a saying that a cruise line can fire a crew member for any reason – good reason, bad reason or no reason – without legal consequence.
NCL has suffered over the year from the perception even amongst cruise fans of being the king of "nickel and diming" its customers. But when it’s time to make a deal with a CEO to move him out of the way without a fuss, NCL will not hesitate to pay millions.
Photo credit: @CruiseNorwegian via CruiseInd
March 17, 2016 Update: Proxy statement explaning, among other thing, what Mr. Sheehan’s financial benefits he was entitled to if he was terminated with cause versus without cause.
March 18, 2016 Update: Many crew members seemed to like Mr. Sheehan and not the CEO who replaced him, Frank Del Rio, who many describe as an arrogant and cost-cutting boss. Here’s one of many comments sent to me on Facebook:
"It doesnt matter how much Mr Sheehans got. He is such a nice and approchable person. I had the chance to meet his 3 years ago in the NCL Sun,h e came to my side stand to greet and thank us for our hard work. Unlike Mr Del Rio, who comes to NCL changing evwrything, all our benefits. The company is going down for the crew. Del Rio came to NCL PEARL when i was there, stood therw for 2 hours and put the ship up side down. So arrogant and unpolite to the crew, didnt even smile at us. Not even a "well done guys, thank you for your hard work." NOTHING. I’ve been with NCL for the past 3 years. I will appreciate if you keep my name private. I may lose my job if anything comes to public."