10 Things You Didn’t Know about Carnival CEO Arnold Donald

Arnold Donald is the current CEO of Carnival Corporation, which is a British-American cruise operator. For some people, he might be best-known to them for being one of the few black CEOs in charge of companies of such size. Something that is best-illustrated by the fact that the number of black CEOs running Fortune 500 companies can be counted in the low single digits. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Arnold Donald:

1. Arnold Might Have Come from Arnulf

Arnold is a Germanic name composed of the elements arn meaning “eagle” and wald meaning either “rule” or “power.” It is possible that Arnold is a corruption of the older Arnulf meaning “eagle wolf,” which might have happened because of conflation with other names containing wald.

2. Donald Comes from Gaelic Dòmhnall

It is believed that Donald comes from the Gaelic name Dòmhnall, which means either “world ruler” or “world wielder.” There are those who believe that the final d in Donald comes from English speakers’ mistaken assumptions about how to pronounce the name, which might have been influenced by their familiarity with Germanic names ending in wald.

3. Born and Raised in New Orleans, LA

Donald was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. Suffice to say that his family lived in a poor neighborhood that was rife with crime. Moreover, he was going to high school at around the time that the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing, thus making his rise that much more impressive.

4. Gifted Student

It was recognized that Donald was a gifted student from a young age. As a result, his parents sent him to an all-male, all-black Catholic school called St. Augustine, which encouraged its students by repeating the message”Gentlemen prepare yourselves. You’re going to run the world.” on a daily basis. In particular, the message had a profound impact on Donald, who started drawing up a career plan when he was at the age of 16.

5. Sought to Differentiate Himself

Said career plan envisioned not one but two undergraduate degrees that would pave the way for a MBA at one of the top business schools in the United States. Donald believed that he needed two undergraduate degrees because he needed something to differentiate himself from other candidates, who would be going for similar degrees because they were on similar paths.

6. Continued Revising Career Plan

Donald didn’t draw up his career plan before insisting on sticking with it no matter what. Instead, he started consulting CEOs when he was in business school, which produced a lot of valuable information that he used to revise his career plan. In particular, it should be mentioned that Donald learned the importance of making sure that each job prepared him for the next job.

7. Achieved His Goal at the Age of 32

Overall, Donald’s goal was to become a general manager at a science-based company included in the Fortune 50. By the age of 32, he had reached this goal, having climbed to the position of general manager at Monsato after having accepted the agricultural biotech company’s offer upon his graduation from business school.

8. Retired at the Age of 51

In total, Donald spent about 20 years at Monsato before he and other investors purchased Monsato’s sugar substitute Equal before starting up an artificial sweetener manufacturer called Merisant. There, Donald spent three years as CEO and then another two years as Chairman before retiring at the age of 51.

9. Called On by Carnival Corporation in 2013

Eventually, Donald was called upon by Carnival Corporation in 2013. In those times, the corporation was in a bad position. Partly, this was because of a couple of disasters, with one being a capsized ship in 2012 and another being a power outage that resulted in 4,200 passengers being forced to deal with raw sewage because of a busted sanitation system. On top of this, Carnival’s profits were stagnant even though the general state of the economy was upwards.

10. Has Turned Around Carnival Corporation

The excellence of Donald’s leadership can be seen in how Carnival Corporation has turned around. For example, it has seen its highest profits over the course of its more than four decades of existence in recent years. Furthermore, its stock price is around $55 in the latter part of January of 2019, which is a huge increase compared to the $34.85 in 2013.


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