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New COO for Hornblower

November 18, 2010


Hornblower Cruises & Events has appointed Bob Shaw, a senior executive with more than three decades of operations experience, to the position of chief operating officer. In his new role, Shaw will be responsible for day-to-day management of all Hornblower companies, including charter yacht and public dining operations and two National Park Service concession contracts.

“Bob’s management and passenger vessel industry experience along with his accomplishments as an executive for several multi-million dollar companies give him invaluable perspective. He is a proven strong leader, and we are pleased to welcome him to the Hornblower team,” says Hornblower CEO Terry MacRae.

Shaw is a LEED-accredited professional who most recently served as president for the mechanical contracting company R.M. Thornton, Inc., which recorded $40 million in annual sales serving the federal government and health care clients. His hospitality experience includes an 11years as CEO and managing partner of Odyssey Cruises/Premier Yachts, Inc., an eight vessel dining and excursion boat operator that was acquired by a private equity firm under his guidance. Shaw also managed three divisions within Sodexho, S.A., the world’s largest contract services division, leading the acquisition of Virginia-based Spirit Cruises and doubling the company’s fleet to sixteen vessels during his five years as president and CEO.

Prior to joining Sodexho, Shaw raised three rounds of venture capital as chief operating officer for the Warburton’s bakery chain and expanded the company from five to 25 locations before it was sold to Au Bon Pain, Inc. He also completed two deployments and served as aide-de-camp to the commanding general of 80,000 Marines and sailors while an infantry officer in the U. S. Marine Corps.

Shaw believes Hornblower is in a unique position to build upon past accomplishments as it develops its cruise offerings and enhances the guest experience.

“Hornblower Cruises & Events is known for its innovative tours, exciting port cities, environmental stewardship and commitment to customers. The company has an incredible story, and it continues to be an industry leader,” he says. “I look forward to working with Hornblower employees to create new opportunities for success.”

Shaw earned a MBA from Harvard University and completed his undergraduate engineering degree at Cornell University. In addition to competing in eleven marathons and three Ironman triathlons, he wrapped up a cross-country cycling trip in 2010. Shaw and his wife, Michelle, have four college-aged children.

To learn more about Hornblower’s daily sightseeing and dining tours, private charters and special event cruises, visit or call 877-HORNBLOWER.


Hornblower Cruises & Events is the leading charter yacht and public dining cruise company in the United States founded over 30 years ago. The company operates over 60 vessels, including the largest dining yachts in the United States as well as the first Hybrid ferry in the United States. The company operates two ferry service concessions for the National Park Service – Alcatraz Cruises provides transportation to Alcatraz Island and Statue Cruises provides transportation to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. In 2005 Hornblower founded Respect Our Planet, a nationwide environmental organization dedicated to educating Hornblower guests and employees on how to protect and preserve the environment. For more information, visit