John Padgett joined Carnival Corporation in 2014 as the chief experience & innovation officer spanning the company’s 10 global cruise line brands with a holistic focus on creating exceptional guest experiences. Leading a multi-disciplinary and cross-functional experience and innovation team, Padgett is responsible for guest experience innovation, development, creation and operations integration across creative, digital, technical and operational functions.
Prior to Carnival Corporation, Padgett had an 18-year career with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts where he and his team led the company’s shift to guest experiences grounded in personalization, customization, simplicity and connectivity as the vice president of game changer experience development. He spearheaded the invention, development and implementation of guest engagement innovations that include the MagicBand, FastPass+, Disney’s Magical Express, Be Our Guest restaurant, Main Entrance access portals and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique retail locations. In his first decade at Disney, Padgett held a diverse number of business and financial planning executive roles within travel industry sales, consumer marketing, travel operations, facilities, utilities, engineering, transportation and manufacturing.
Padgett holds 19 patents and multiple innovation awards for wearable devices, experience itinerary scheduling and optimization, digital experience interaction platforms and operational processes.
He earned a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in management science and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business. He remains an active alumnus serving on Virginia Tech’s Hospitality and Tourism Advisory Board and Virginia Tech’s Rice Center for Leadership Development Board.
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