MSC Cruises announced a new senior appointment. Luca Biondolillo, 48, will MSC's Chief Communications Officer (CCO), starting March 2.

In this newly created global role, Biondolillo, who holds both U.S. and Italian citizenship and has lived and worked internationally for the past 25 years, will report to the CEO, Gianni Onorato.

Onorato said: “Luca joins us at a crucial time in our corporate development as we pursue a €5 billion fleet enlargement plan to double our current capacity by 2022, including through the introduction of seven ultra-modern ships in two state-of-the-art prototypes.

“2014 was another standout year for MSC Cruises, and it is within this context that I’m pleased to welcome Luca to the Company’s senior executive structure. His profile fits MSC extremely well, since he has worked extensively with both private and publicly-traded, family-controlled multinational corporations. His communication leadership will be key to ensuring that we continue to build upon a reputation earned through 300 years of seafaring.”

Having served most recently as Head of Corporate Communications & Public Affairs for Benetton Group, the parent company of United Colors of Benetton and other leading global fashion brands, Biondolillo has nearly 20 years’ experience in high-level corporate, financial and sustainability communications in multicultural global settings. He is also Vice-President of the Board of the Brussels-based European Association of Communication Directors (EACD).

Biondolillo, who has worked in Europe, the Americas, Africa and across Asia, brings vast experience in manifold communications disciplines, including global reputation management, corporate social responsibility communications, as well as issues management and crisis communications. He has both led and consulted in communications for publicly traded as well as private global corporations in a range of sectors, including fashion, luxury, food, manufacturing, consumer goods, retail, transportation, automotive, high-tech and others.

Biondolillo also has a significant track record at the financial end of communications. As a senior executive and team leader for leading New York-based global communications consultancies, from 1995 through 2003, he managed investor and financial media relations for various multinational corporations, including several IPOs, secondary offerings and other equity and debt offerings, mainly in the U.S. but also across Europe and Asia.

Furthermore, in 2004 Biondolillo moved in-house to lead financial and corporate communications for NYSE- and Milan-listed Luxottica Group which, with more than €7 billion in annual net sales, 73,000 employees and a presence in 130 countries, is the world leader in premium, luxury and sports eyewear.