Lindblad Expeditions Names Berle CEO
Expedition cruising company Lindblad Expeditions Holdings has appointed Dolf Berle as president, chief executive officer and a member of its board, effective May 10. Berle succeeds Sven-Olof Lindblad, who will become co-chair of the board together with current board chair Mark Ein.
The leadership change comes as Lindblad Expeditions announced that it will resume small ship expeditions cruises and adventure travel experience operations for the 2021 season in Alaska and Galapagos, beginning in the first week of June. The company said it also intends to announce plans for activating additional geographies for the summer as logistics are finalized.
Berle currently serves as chief executive officer of Topgolf Entertainment Group where he has led the company’s overall vision, global growth strategies and P&L, since 2018. Previously, he served as president and chief operating officer of Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc.
“The board and Sven have been working for some time to attract additional leadership talent and identify our next leader, and we believe that Dolf is the ideal candidate to serve as Lindblad Expeditions’ new CEO,” Ein said. “Dolf brings a track record of quickly expanding multi-unit businesses and championing technology innovations and understands the importance of delivering unmatched guest experiences and creating communities where guests want to return time and again—all of which is integral to our robust growth plans to create value for our stakeholders.”
Ein continued, “Over the past 40 years, Sven has built one of the world’s greatest expedition and adventure travel companies by pioneering innovative ways to connect people and places. It is because of his leadership that Lindblad Expeditions is synonymous with life-changing adventures for so many people. Today, the cornerstones of our business are extremely strong with significant pent-up customer demand, a growing portfolio of newly acquired exceptional travel businesses, and considerable financial flexibility to fuel additional future acquisitions and organic expansion opportunities as the travel industry begins to reopen.”
In his role as co-chair, Lindblad will work with his fellow directors to advise the company’s leadership team on business strategy and growth opportunities, including reaching new audiences, innovating new products and developing new geographies, as well as focus on energizing new and existent social programs. Ein and Lindblad will help guide the board and the company’s organic growth, acquisition and financial strategy.
“It has been a tremendous honor to serve as the CEO of Lindblad Expeditions since founding the company in 1979, and I am proud of all that we have accomplished over the last 40 years. We've built a business based on the respect and understanding of geography and connecting our more than hundreds of thousands of loyal guests and new audiences worldwide with nature, culture and an opportunity to explore the world. Today, Lindblad Expeditions has the most talented employees in the industry, a best-in class platform of high-quality and authentic experiential offerings, a passionate customer base eager to see the world’s most exceptional destinations with us, and a balanced growth strategy to take us into the future. We are thrilled for our guests to return to the same exhilarating expedition experience they have come to know and love when we resume voyages in two iconic destinations early this summer,” Lindblad said.
Lindblad continued, “I am very pleased to hand the baton to Dolf, who I have gotten to know well and for whom I have great respect and admiration. I am confident that his outstanding leadership, integrity and character make him the right choice to serve as our next leader. I look forward to my continuing involvement with the company in my new role as co-chair and working closely with Mark, Dolf and the rest of the team to keep driving the business forward.”
Separately, Lindblad Expeditions announced that Sarah Farrell, an independent member of the board of directors, will be stepping down immediately.