Uniworld not planning a successor for outgoing MD Dalton

Global CEO of the luxury river cruise line to oversee Australian operation

Fiona Dalton, CEO of The Travel Corporation, Australia

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection will be without a Managing Director in the Australian market indefinitely following the announcement that Fiona Dalton would step into the role of CEO for The Travel Corporation (TTC) Australia. Dalton is currently on sabbatical to complete her MBA and will take on the new responsibility in early October 2020. She has been in the MD role for Uniworld Australia for four years.

Current TTC CEO John Veitch will exit the company in April. He will be replaced in an Interim CEO capacity by Lorraine Sharp, who has a 30-year history with The Travel Corporation.

Speaking exclusively with LATTE on Monday from the TTC’s headquarters in Bondi Junction, Uniworld’s Global CEO Ellen Bettridge said she was “absolutely thrilled” for Dalton and her promotion within the overarching company.

“Fiona is a perfect fit for the role. She’s so well respected in Australia by the trade. [She] knows The Travel Corporation very well, knows the brands,” Bettridge told LATTE during a wide-ranging one-on-one interview.

Bettridge and Dalton at the 2017 christening of Uniworld's Joie de Vivre

Bettridge is in Australia for her annual visit, forging stronger ties with the local unit, and to meet with industry partners. While in Sydney she which will participate at special gala for Uniworld’s top sellers on Friday night and CLIA Australasia’s Cruise Industry Awards on Saturday evening.

Questioned by LATTE on the succession plan for Uniworld’s Managing Director title in Australia, Bettridge said Dalton will “continue to stay engaged with Uniworld supporting the brand”.

“I’m actually not planning on a successor for Fiona right now. I believe in the leaders that I have here, and the support that Fiona gives, and the support that I’m able to offer.

“I think that we’ll be able to go forward.”

Ellen Bettridge, Global CEO of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collections' soon to launch, SS Sao Gabriel

Bettridge continued: “I’m very fortunate because I’ve got a fantastic team in Australia. Zoe [Dean] is amazing at her job here as Head of Marketing. Alice [Ager] has been a wonderful leader for our Sales team. And we’ve got a wonderful leader in Renee [Rowlands, Head of Operations] who heads up our call centre team.

“Between the three of them they are operating beautifully, so at this point we are just going to take it day-by-day and just continue to support them as we are, and go from there. They are a very confident group of young ladies and I have a lot of confidence in the team.”

More from our exclusive chat with Bettridge in LATTE on Friday.

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