Aberdeen Harbour Board appoints new Chief Executive

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Aberdeen Harbour Board has appointed Michelle Handforth as the new Chief Executive.

Michelle, who has 20 years of board and leadership experience in global, multi-site businesses, will succeed Colin Parker in her new role later this year, however, Colin will remain in post as Chief Executive until a comprehensive handover has been completed.

Alistair Mackenzie, Chairman of Aberdeen Harbour Board, welcomed Michelle’s appointment to the role. He said: “Michelle will join Aberdeen Harbour at both an exciting and challenging time.

“With the expansion works commenced at Aberdeen South Harbour and ‘business as usual’ very much the requirement of the day 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.”

Michelle commented, “I am delighted to be joining such a prestigious organisation. It has an incredible history and yet is also so focussed on the future. I very much look forward to meeting and engaging with Harbour staff, customers and to reaching out to the broader stakeholder community.”

Michelle’s career has seen her hold leadership roles in the areas of aviation, rail, maritime, financial service and oil and gas industries. She is currently Managing Director of helicopter operator, Babcock MCS Offshore based in Aberdeen and has served on the Boards of First Choice Holidays, Sea Containers (Rail) – former operators of the East Coast Rail and Orient Express Group – Aviva, Veolia Transdev and as General Manager for Sydney Ferries in Australia.

Michelle has a BA (hons) Law degree and qualified as a Barrister in 1986. She has worked internationally in the USA, Europe, India and Australasia.


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