MLT Blog

Carnival Corp. CEO Says Diversity Improves Business Performance

by: Avril Langevine

In a recent interview with USA Today, Arnold Donald, the president and CEO of Carnival Corp., the largest cruise line in the world, added to the growing chorus of voices who believe that diversity improves business performance.

He said, “[A] highly talented team, with a process to work together, that is diverse will out-innovate a homogeneous team 99.9% of the time. …Is it the right social justice thing to do? Of course it is. But it’s also actually the right thing to do in terms of just flat-out generating return for shareholders and keeping a business sustainably successful.’’

Donald is setting a welcome precedent as “an African-American top executive in a sector that has generally been dominated by white corporate leaders.”  He is focusing on ensuring that the company’s leadership team is diverse.

“Arnold is a champion of diversity and holds firm in the belief that diversity adds depth and breadth to thinking about challenges and opportunities,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, one of Carnival’s brands.

Donald’s interview comes on the heels of Intel’s announcement earlier this month that the company will spend $300 million over the next 5 years to create a more inclusive company at all levels and a McKinsey and Company report that found a strong relationship between companies that have diverse leadership and those with better bottom-line results.

MLT has several partners in the travel & entertainment industry, including American Airlines, Creative Artists Agency, Time Warner, and The Walt Disney Company.  In total, MLT works with more than 100 leading corporations, non-profits, foundations, and graduate business schools that also understand diversity is a business imperative.