A balanced approach helps keep University of Phoenix alumnus afloat
Chief Information Officer, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.
After more than a quarter of a century—and countless positions—Bill Martin reflects on the long road and balanced approach to life that has carried him to the top of the cruise line industry.
For Bill, Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Administration ’98, a couple of lucky breaks, a razor-sharp focus and the patience of a saint add up to his current role: Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. He oversees a 400-person organization—not including contractors who come and go for various projects—making sure the company stays up-to-date, secure and legally compliant.
He’s also had significant input on high-profile projects for the organization. As CIO, Bill is responsible for all technology—both on shore and on the ships across all of Royal Caribbean’s five brands.
Learning the Ropes
Such hasn’t always been the case. “I’m not naïve enough to think that I didn’t catch a couple of lucky breaks along the way,” Martin said. “You have to be patient enough to wait for those breaks, and sometimes that’s tough.”
Bill did more than just wait. More than 25 years ago, he joined Royal Caribbean on the ground floor, literally, as a reservations agent working the phone bank. He worked in a broad range of areas and in various capacities for the company including stints as an accountant, a senior analyst, manager of Royal Caribbean’s revenue management systems and head of the customer service organization.
In each role, he learned more about the company and its operations, critical for someone looking to get ahead in any organization.
Bill was a working professional with a family when he was drawn to the accessibility of University of Phoenix, where he could pursue his Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Administration while maintaining his position.
“My degree really helped complement my working knowledge and backed it up with theory,” Bill said. “Whether it’s from statistics or project management or any of the other business courses I took, I still
count on those theories today.”
A mentor helped Bill achieve life balance while in school. It has become the foundation for Bill’s success, both personally and professionally.
Keeping in line with his commitment to a balanced life, Bill Martin also makes it a priority to stay active in his community. He serves as chairman of the board for His House Children’s home, a foster care organization for abused and neglected kids in Miami-Dade County, Florida, where he lives. He also participates in church events.
“Being involved keeps you fresh and active,” he said.
Although Bill said he would like to return to school one day to pursue his master’s degree, he is content where he is.
“Every day, I wake up and I’m [eager] to get started because I’m looking forward to all the possibilities the day presents,” he said. “For me, that is success because I am happy.”