President, Holland America Line
Orlando Ashford serves as president of Holland America Line, leading the award-winning cruise line’s brand and business, including its fleet of 14 premium vessels carrying more than 850,000 guests annually to all seven continents. Ashford oversees Holland America Line’s sales and marketing, revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, public relations, hotel operations and strategy.
Prior to joining Holland America Line, Ashford was president of the Talent Business Segment for Mercer, the global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Previous to Mercer he served as senior vice president, chief human resources and communications officer of Mercer’s parent company, Marsh & McLennan Companies. Ashford also has held several other leadership roles during the course of his career, including group director of human resources for 90 countries in Eurasia and Africa for the Coca-Cola Company and vice president Corporate Center human resources and cultural transformation. Previously he was vice president of global human resources strategy and organizational development for Motorola Inc., where he helped modernize the human resources function for the global tech leader.
Ashford’s book, “Talentism,” addresses the global disconnect between available jobs – more than one-third of employers worldwide cannot fill all available jobs – and the tens of millions of eligible workers who are unemployed. Ashford examines how technology and human networks can help bridge the skills gap, improve business performance, and lead to the betterment of society at large.
Ashford is on the Board of Directors for global manufacturing company ITT Corp., as well as the Executive Leadership Council, the preeminent membership organization for the development of global black leaders, where he serves as Chairman of the Board. He is also a founding board member for the Positive Coaching Alliance, Seattle chapter, and is a member of the Washington Roundtable.
In 2016, Ashford was awarded a Travvy Award for “Most Innovative Executive, Mid-sized Cruise,” and was named to Savoy Magazine’s list of “Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.” He also was named to the “Directorship 100” of the National Association of Corporate Directors in 2013 and 2014, and is a Purdue University School of Technology Distinguished Alumnus.
Ashford holds a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership and Industrial Technology from Purdue University.