Cruise leader Adrian Pittaway announces departure from MSC Group

By Luke Barras-hill |

MSC Group has started the search for Pittaway’s replacement in the cruise division.

MSC Cruises Head of Retail Adrian Pittaway will officially leave his position and the MSC Group at the end of November.

TRBusiness can also confirm that the Group is currently recruiting for Pittaway’s replacement.

In his more than eight years with the Geneva-headquartered privately held shipping and logistics firm, Pittaway played a pivotal role in raising the profile of its cruise retailing division.

A familiar face within travel retail circles, Pittaway regularly appeared as a speaker and panellist at industry conferences where he shared his expertise in presiding over MSC Cruises’ retail strategy, merchandising and buying functions and onboard operations across more than 220 shopping concessions onboard cruise vessels and on private island resorts.

‘Leaving the best job in travel retail’

Having joined the group in 2015, Pittaway steered an ambitious retail expansion plan spanning new ship classes, refurbishments and new concepts, among others elements.

Prior to MSC, Pittaway spent seven-and-a-half years with The Nuance Group as Group Leisure Travel Manager, while his CV also includes retail leadership posts at Center Parcs UK, Matalan and Debenhams.

MSC Group’s voyage into the luxury cruise segment arrived this year with the first ship from Explora Journeys.

MSC Cruises was named the winner of the ‘Best retail environment on board a cruise ship’ in the 2020 consumer-voted Global Travel Retail Awards and Pittaway himself featured on the September 2020 cover of TRBusiness magazine in recognition of his work in supporting the recovery of the cruise retail sector.

In a LinkedIn post shared today (20 October), Pittaway said: “It’s always tough to walk away from something that you love. But after 8.5 amazing years at MSC, I have made the personal decision to leave ‘the best job in travel retail’ in a few weeks’ time.

“I always believed that you need to grow and challenge yourself continually, and I feel now is the right time for me to move on after completing the goal of what I hoped to do when I joined the young business back in 2015.

Pittaway splashed the cover of the TRBusiness September 2020 edition.

“Since then, we have grown many times over, launched 11 ships, developed wholly new and industry-first innovative concepts and a new approach to luxury cruise retailing. But most importantly to me, I have been able to support, grow and mentor a whole new generation of retail leaders across our fleet who now will carry forward this fantastic business with true passion and professionalism.”

In paying tribute to his team, who he calls ‘rockstars’, plus MSC Cruises’ retail partners, he added: “Cruise retail is all about people, and this is for me the most important thing to see continue, develop and grow. I wish you all continued success in the next period of MSC’s amazing retail growth journey.” 

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