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Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy

Chief Information Officer
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
What is your job title?
Chief Information Officer

What are some of your responsibilities?
I oversee all aspects of technology shoreside and shipboard, for a fleet of 25 vessels. This includes operations, development and administration.

What do you like most about your job?
Working with this team of IT professionals, who are so passionate about what they do, is the best thing about coming to work; the fact that we get to focus on creating extraordinary vacation experiences every day is frosting on the cake.

What do you like least about your job?
The inevitable politics that go along with a CXO position in a company this size.

Did you go to undergraduate school? Where? What was your major?
I went to University of Richmond, Va. and graduated with a BA in English and a minor in Marketing. The perfect combination for a career in technology!

What is your favorite movie?
There’s no way at my advanced age that I can boil this down to one movie. In my top 10 are “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” “Pink Floyd’s The Wall” with Bob Geldoff as Pink and “LOTR - Fellowship of the Ring.”

What is your favorite song?
I am not one to follow rules, Richard. Music is the soundtrack to my life and is incredibly important to me. So, in my top 10 are “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd, “Walking on a Wire” and “Wall of Death” by Richard and Linda Thompson, “Sympathy For the Devil” by the Rolling Stones, “I Wanna be Sedated” by the Ramones, “The Real Me” by the Who and “Hey Joe” (the version) by Jimi Hendrix.

What is your favorite line from a movie or song?
“Well he’s just an excitable boy…,” Warren Zevon, “Excitable Boy”

What was your first job?
My first paycheck job was as a cook at Roy Rogers (ironically owned by Marriott at the time). My first “grown-up” job was as a summer employee with Delta Airlines as a baggage handler on the ramp at National Airport in Washington.

What was your most interesting day at work?
Negotiations with the Egyptian Tourism government officials to allow us to put an IBM Series/1-based PMS in the Cairo Marriott, followed the next day by a similar meeting in Athens, was certainly interesting. Twelve-hour days, windowless rooms, lots of potent coffee sludge and unfiltered cigarettes by the dozens.

My most “memorable” was during a PMS pre-site visit at the Marriott Orlando World Center where we watched the Challenger shuttle take off, not realizing until later that we had watched it blow up.

What would you do if you won the lottery?
I’d solve world hunger and seek world peace and…Nah. I have no idea, and since I don’t play I probably will never need to think about it.

When you are not working what do you enjoy doing?
I am a triathlete so I spend a lot of time training and competing. I love to read, listen to music and spend time with my four kids and wife Lisa.

What is the next technology to impact the hospitality industry?
Let’s see, what is it this week…wireless, smartcards, pervasive computing?? From a corporate perspective I see huge investments in middleware (EAI) like WebSphere, WebMethods, Tibco, etc. as the big companies with huge capital investments in legacy systems try to wring more out of the proverbial turnip. At the property level I think that there is great opportunity centered around cell phone/wireless telephony to ease the arrival/departure process and improve service personalization.

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