reports that the decision to separate the offices was Arison's, and Arison will remain as chairman of the board. Arison had been CEO since 1979, and is being replaced by 12-year director Arnold W. Donald.
"I have been discussing this with the board for some time now and feel the timing is right to align our company with corporate governance best practices," Arison said in a statement.
He also promised shareholders that he was not going anywhere. " I will remain chairman and my plan is to continue in that role for the foreseeable future," Arison said.
News of the move and that Arison was staying on caused a 5 percent spike in stock prices for Carnival.
Carnival Cruise Lines is the largest cruise company in the world, and is based in Miami, Fla. The cruise line went through major expansion and success under Arison, reports Reuters
. The company purchased several other smaller cruise lines, including Holland America, Cunard, and P&O Princess Cruises and became a leader in the industry.
Carnival ships have had problems in the past few years, and they have had to offer incredible discounts to attract customers.
Several ships have had power loss, and in February, the Carnival Triumph
had a fire in its engine room, which caused a power outage and a sewage backup, and stranded 4,000 passengers. However, the most devastating loss came in 2011, when their ship, Costa Concordia
, ran aground and killed 30 people.
The disasters prompted Carnival to spend between $600 million and $700 million in improvements to prevent such events from happening again. Those improvements include emergency generators for power outages, two engine rooms in case one fails, and the most technologically advanced fire detection, suppression and prevention systems.