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Daniel Hanrahan, CEO of Celebrity Cruises, announces resignation

The head of upscale Celebrity Cruises announced Wednesday that he is leaving the company at the end of July, just months before the brand’s latest new ship debuts.

Daniel Hanrahan, who has led the brand for seven years, said in a news release that he would be taking “an exciting new opportunity.”

Late Wednesday, that opportunity was revealed: Hanrahan, 54, will become president and CEO of hair care giant Regis Corporation, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. He’ll take the new job Aug. 6.

The Minneapolis-based company owns, franchises or has ownership interests in more than 12,000 locations around the world, including the Supercuts, MasterCuts, Regis Salons and Sassoon Salon concepts. The company, which reported $2.2 billion in revenues for the 12-month period that ended June 30, also includes beauty schools and hair restoration centers.

A successor has not been named at Celebrity, which is part of Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises. Hanrahan has worked for the world’s second-largest cruise ship company for 13 years; the company reported that his total compensation in 2011 amounted to nearly $2.4 million, according to regulatory filings.

He became president of Celebrity Cruises in 2005 and added the chief executive officer role in 2007.

Before joining Royal Caribbean in 1999, Hanrahan worked at Polaroid Corporation, Reebok International Ltd. and Nestle Food Corporation.

“While leaving Celebrity isn’t easy for me, I am very proud of what we have been able to accomplish the last seven years,” he said in the statement. A Celebrity spokeswoman said Hanrahan was not doing interviews Wednesday.

During his tenure at Celebrity, he oversaw the launch of the highly regarded Solstice class of ships, the fifth and final of which is set to launch in October. The number of ships operated by the brand will reach 11 with the newest addition, Celebrity Reflection.

“He’s been instrumental in bringing some amazing hardware into the industry,” said Michelle Fee, CEO of Cruise Planners – American Express Travel, a home-based travel agent network.

Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor-in-chief of, said a Dan Hanrahan appreciation thread had already popped up on the site’s forums shortly after news broke of his departure.

“He took a cruise line that was pretty good and he transformed it into something unique,” she said. “I think that’s a big loss for them.”