Luxury cruise line Ponant has announced the appointment of Hervé Gastinel as its new CEO, effective 29 March.
In a press statement announcing his appointment, Ponant described Gastinel (pictured above) as “a true enthusiast of the sea and ships”.
The former officer-cadet and watch captain owns a yacht well-known on the regatta circuit and is an experienced deep-sea sailor.
After completing his studies, Gastinel worked on various projects at France’s General Inspectorate of Finance before becoming technical advisor to the President of the French Senate, responsible for the economy, finance and new technologies.
Overtaken by a desire for “the concrete and operational”, Gastinel joined Saint Gobain as planning and strategy director.
He went on to manage the building materials company, Terreal, which has 25 manufacturing sites around the world, before taking over the reins of the Beneteau Group, a world leader in pleasure craft, between 2015 and 2019.
Gastinel also remains senior advisor for consulting firm EIM.
François Pinault, founder and manager of Ponant’s parent company, Artemis, said: “I am delighted with the arrival of Hervé Gastinel. He is a true sailing enthusiast who has all the skills to transform this wonderful company and facilitate the resumption of operations.
“After a difficult year, the next months will be decisive in accelerating Ponant’s development for the coming financial years.”
Pinault also thanked “the visionary creator who is Jean Emmanuel Sauvée”, the outgoing CEO of Ponant, for his service to the cruise line.
Commenting on his appointment, Gastinel said: “Contributing to the restart and international development of Ponant in a sector undergoing rapid transformation is a great perspective.
“I look forward to joining the Ponant team, the employees on board as well as ashore, in France and abroad, and to continuing the great entrepreneurial adventure led by Jean Emmanuel Sauvée.”
Gastinel’s appointment comes shortly after Ponant announced an expansion of its 2022 Kimberley luxury expedition cruise season to an unprecedented 26 departures with an extended operating period from 19 March 2022 to September 2022.