Ritz-Carlton Yacht adds to leadership team

Silversea's Jens Gorka and Wärtsilä Voyage's Clayton van Welter jump ship

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has named strategic organisational shifts and appointments to its operations leadership team as the brand prepares for future growth. Mark Lockwood moves into the role of Chief Product Officer and Jens Gorka holds the position of Senior Vice President, Shipboard Operations, while the company welcomes Clayton van Welter as Vice President, Marine Operations.

“In our endless pursuit of perfecting the ultra-luxury experience for our guests, this new leadership structure will establish a strong foundation for effective collaboration and performance, and unlock our potential for innovation and growth,” said Jim Murren, Executive Chairman and CEO. “Their collective passion and experience will be integral to offering a consistent, unparalleled guest experience at sea as we continue growing our fleet.”

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Mark Lockwood joined The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection in 2017 with over 25 years of hospitality and operational experience. Prior to joining the company, Lockwood oversaw operations for Midtown Athletic Clubs as Corporate VP of Operations and held senior positions at Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line. Lockwood has also held a number of key leadership roles in several Leading Hotels of The World. In his most recent roles as Chief Brand Operations Officer and Senior Vice President, Cruise Hotel Operations, Lockwood was instrumental in the launch of the company’s first yacht, Evrima. The seasoned veteran takes on his new role as Chief Product Officer leading the alignment of product development across the organisation to ensure a luxury customer-centric approach throughout all touchpoints of the guest experience.

Mark Lockwood

Bringing with him 30 years of hospitality experience, Jens Gorka holds the role of SVP, Shipboard Operations where he will oversee hotel shipboard operations, shipboard finance, procurement, and logistics across the company’s fleet. Gorka successfully led the Shipboard Operation team in Spain during the final build phase of Evrima. He comes to The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection with 20 years of cruise experience having previously worked for Silversea Cruises where he held various positions in operations and finance, most recently as VP of Hotel Operations. Gorka earned his MBA from the prestigious EHL Hospitality Business School.

Jens Gorka

Maritime veteran Clayton van Welter has been appointed to VP, Marine Operations following his most recent role as Head of Product at Wärtsilä Voyage where he led product strategy and drove innovative tactics to improve high-level product engagement. With over 17 years in roles shoreside and at sea at global cruise and marine technology companies, Clayton will supervise marine and technical operations while maintaining the highest standards of safety and security, environmental sustainability, and vessel efficiency. Previously, Clayton led the safety program and compliance as AVP, Maritime Safety for Royal Caribbean Group where he leveraged his continuous improvement both on board and ashore.

Clayton van Welter
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