Top Management Profiles

Pierfrancesco Vago – Executive Chairman


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Pierfrancesco Vago is the Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises since 2013. Prior to that, as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, he led MSC Cruises to over 800% growth since its inception. In his new position, Mr Vago leads the company’s ongoing strategy and long-term vision from its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. He also oversees all of MSC Group’s subsidiaries with strategic relevance to the tourism sector.
Additionally, Mr Vago spearheaded the launch of the Company’s unprecedented 10-plus years investment plan supporting the next phase of MSC Cruises’ growth. The plan encompasses a staggering 11 new next-generation mega cruise ships coming into service between 2017 and 2026, reflecting an investment of €9 billion – the largest-ever in the industry.

Mr Vago entered the MSC Group in 2000, piloting a joint venture between the Italian-based ferry company SNAV and the Hoverspeed Seacontainer Group. In 2001, he rose to the position of Line Manager for the USA, Mexico and Canada within the Group’s container shipping business, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company.
In January 2014 Mr Vago became Chairman of CLIA Europe, the European branch of the cruise industry’s global association, a position that he held until December 2016. During this time Mr Vago led CLIA Europe to take an increasingly more central role in engaging with all the relevant European and national authorities and legislative bodies across the Continent, with a particular focus on Brussels, and in close cooperation with CLIA Global. As a member of CLIA’s Global Executive Committee, Mr Vago continues to be closely involved in the Association’s work and activities. He also remains a member of CLIA Europe’s Executive Committee and Board.

In January 2014 Mr Vago became Chairman of CLIA Europe, the European branch of the cruise industry’s global association, a position that he held until December 2016. During this time Mr Vago led CLIA Europe to take an increasingly more central role in engaging with all the relevant European and national authorities and legislative bodies across the Continent, with a particular focus on Brussels, and in close cooperation with CLIA Global. As a member of CLIA’s Global Executive Committee, Mr Vago continues to be closely involved in the Association’s work and activities. He also remains a member of CLIA Europe’s Executive Committee and Board.


Gianni Onorato – Chief executive Officer


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As Chief Executive Office of MSC Cruises, Gianni Onorato oversees the Company’s growth from its Geneva-based headquarters and reports to the Board of Directors and to its Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago.

With over 30 years’ experience in the cruise industry, Mr Onorato has a finely developed understanding of the cruise business and extensive knowledge in senior executive leadership, having served as President of Costa Cruises from 2004 to 2013.

Born in Italy, Mr Onorato graduated from Naples’ Istituto Orientale with a degree in Foreign Languages and Literature in 1983, and then specialized at SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan and INSEAD in Fontainebleau.

He began his cruise industry career in 1986 at Costa Cruises as Food and Beverage Manager before becoming Cruise Product Director. From 1997 he served as Vice President & Cruise Operations Director and was responsible for logistics and provisioning, as well as all activities relating to calls, excursions and hotel operations.


Emilio La Scala – President – Cruise Management UK


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“Sail before the wind” are the words that  best express the spirit of Emilio La Scala, President , Cruise Management UK. Passionate about ships from a young age, La Scala studied at the famous Nautical Institute in his native city of Naples, graduating in 1978. He then embarked with MSC Cargo vessels as a deck officer, obtaining all the necessary certifications needed to meet the requirements of a maritime career. Seagoing changed to a shore-based  profession in 1984 when he started as the assistant to the MSC Technical Director, taking part in several major projects involving the renovation and repurposing of traditional cargo ships to container ships.

In 1990, MSC entered the cruise industry with its acquisition of the SS Monterey –  setting a new course in the career of La Scala. As General Manager, he heads a team of more than 100 personnel who comprise the dynamic MSC Cruise technical department. Based in the heart of Piano di Sorrento, the technical department operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to plan, build, manage and maintain a large and expanding fleet of cruise ships – some of which are among the largest in the world. Using professional skills and techniques acquired in various courses focused on quality, personnel management, and ship safety and security, in 2000 La Scala introduced a vital new department dedicated to new builds, where he is project manager.


This vital new direction has already resulted in the delivery of nine new vessels.

Antonio Paradiso- Managing Director UK and Ireland


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Antonio Paradiso was born in 1981 in the UK and is British-Italian. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Naples “L’Orientale”. Antonio acquired his first work experience with the British consulate in Naples as a Duty Officer in 2006.
From 2010 to 2012 he held the position of Trade Manager for Austria, Germany and Switzerland. In January 2013, Antonio was appointed Executive Director Emerging Markets: in this capacity, he overviews and manages MSC Cruises’ Commercial and Sales strategy in over 30 countries spanning from eastern Europe, Russia, Turkey, Northern Africa and the Middle East to the Far East and south east Asia. In April 2016, Antonio was appointed as the Executive Director for UK and Ireland. He has been brought in to lead the efforts in the UK and Ireland at an exciting phase of the Company’s growth in both markets.