Aberdeen Harbour Board welcomes new Chief Executive

Aberdeen Harbour Board has welcomed Michelle Handforth, who officially took over the role as Chief Executive yesterday (Monday).

This comes after an extensive recruitment process, when Ms Handforth, who has 20 years of board and leadership experience in global, multi-site businesses, was recruited to succeed Colin Parker as Chief Executive.

Alistair Mackenzie, Chairman of Aberdeen Harbour Board, welcomed her appointment to the role.

“Michelle is joining Aberdeen Harbour at an incredibly important time for the organisation.  Construction works are well under way at the Aberdeen South Harbour site, whilst we continue to focus on providing second-to-none services and facilities for our customers in the existing harbour. Michelle will be tasked with overseeing the successful completion of project works and in facilitating business growth in the existing facilities.

“Michelle’s considerable commercial and operational experience at a senior level means that she is tremendously well equipped to tackle and realise these goals.”

The expansion, which will afford existing customers the opportunity to diversify and expand their interests, is also expected to attract new customers and markets to the port, including a more significant share of the available cruise vessel fleet and larger more cost-effective commercial vessels.

Since work commenced on site in April 2017, the South Harbour development has already made significant progress, with its main contractor, Dragados UK, completing approximately 200 metres of north breakwater, as well as a first round of dredging activity.

Ms Handforth commented: “After being offered the post towards the end of last year, I’ve been very much looking forwarding to getting started at Aberdeen Harbour Board.

“Colin Parker’s work here at the port, which spans over 30 years, has left a lasting legacy for us all. He oversaw a number of significant infrastructure projects, which modernised the facilities available to our customers, including the development of Torry Marine Base and the planning of the on-going harbour expansion into Nigg Bay. As Britain’s oldest existing business, with a solid strategy in place for our future, I am committed to continuing this work and I am certain that the harbour will continue to thrive and provide a significant contribution to the local, regional and national economy.”