June 1, 2017 – Executive search firm Greenwich Harbor Partners has placed Sam Bloomberg-Rissman as head of eCommerce for GoBe, a newly launched subsidiary of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. The enterprise provides travel experiences in 97 countries and 895 cities. Mr. Bloomberg-Rissman, who will report to CEO Billy Campbell, is based in Miami.
Mr. Bloomberg-Rissman previously worked in progressive positions at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. Most recently, he was digital guest experience director. Prior to that, he was manager of digital guest experience and product management.
“GoBe/Royal Caribbean needed a person who combined marketing with a strong understanding of the technology underlying digital media,” said Carrie Pryor, managing partner of Greenwich Harbor Partners. “He or she needed to be comfortable coming into an organization that was very thinly staffed and recruit a team while simultaneously doing the work of multiple people. We needed to find someone who had grown a business from zero to a significant size.”
“The client was open to someone who had accomplished rapid growth of a business under the umbrella of a larger corporation or as a stand-alone company,” she said. “Royal Caribbean created GoBe to build a global, high-end, independent excursion business and consolidate part of the many ‘mom and pop’ providers by using an eCommerce platform to inform and then convert people who visited the website into a sale.”
“Candidates liked the idea of being funded by a $8.5 billion company (Royal Caribbean) that had commissioned an expensive market study by one of the top three consulting firms which validated the large potential market for the excursion business,” Ms. Pryor said.
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The Right Fit
A key factor in Mr. Bloomberg-Rissman winning the job was that he had spent six years at Disney Theme Parks working on building and launching platforms and tools for visitors, said Ms. Pryor. “Specific items included building or fine tuning PhotoPass and its mobile app FastPass+, and booking and planning stays at the resorts,” she said. “Sam had been able to draw resources from corporate and other divisions and had built products and tools that quickly operated at a large scale.”
Mr. Campbell, of GoBe, meanwhile, was full of praise for the recruiters. “I enjoyed working with Greenwich Harbor Partners on our head of eCommerce search,” he said. “The Greenwich Harbor team was very engaged and gave us a terrific list of candidates, service and advice. We are very happy with the placement and would highly recommend the firm.”
Greenwich Harbor Partners specializes in finding senior executives and board directors for media, entertainment and technology companies. Some of the firm’s recent eCommerce clients include: Keurig, Discovery Communications and Sonic Drive-In, among others.
“Ideal candidates for eCommerce roles are either engineers who turned and worked in the marketing function or marketers who fully embraced technology,” said Ms. Pryor. “Superior candidates are able to focus on both the strategic and the data driven details. He or she must be able to constantly look at the data and make changes to the website in terms of prices, special offers and overall customer experience. Websites need to be easy, informative and fun for people to use. Executives like Sam are successful because they have treated millions of individuals as if they are the center of their marketing efforts in a true one-to-one engagement process.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Chase Barbe, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media