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Forth Ports’ CEO Charles Hammond Steps Down After 23 Years; Stuart Wallace to Succeed

In a significant development for the UK’s maritime industry, Charles Hammond OBE, the Group Chief Executive of Forth Ports, has announced his decision to step down from his role at the end of June 2024. After leading the country’s third-largest ports group for an impressive 23 years, Hammond will be succeeded by Stuart Wallace, currently serving as the company’s Chief Operating Officer.

Leadership Transition for Forth Ports

The leadership transition will see Charles Hammond working closely with Stuart Wallace over the next six months to facilitate a seamless handover. Stuart, already a member of the Forth Ports board, is set to officially assume the role of Group Chief Executive on July 1, 2024.

Forth Ports has been at the forefront of maritime development, unveiling ambitious plans to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2042 and carbon neutrality by 2032. The company has also played a pivotal role in initiatives like the Thames Freeport and the Forth Green Freeport, further solidifying its position in the industry.

Ambitious Plans and Renewable Energy Focus

Apart from its commitment to sustainability, Forth Ports has been a major player in the renewable energy sector. The company’s £150 million private investment program has been instrumental in supporting offshore wind development, with dedicated renewables hubs in Dundee and Leith. Early plans are underway for a floating wind hub across the River Forth at Burntisland.

Charles Hammond Reflects on Legacy

Reflecting on his decision to step down, Charles Hammond expressed gratitude for the privilege of leading Forth Ports. He highlighted the company’s significant growth, navigating challenges such as the Covid pandemic and Brexit, all while fostering stability. Hammond leaves the company at a pivotal juncture, expressing confidence in Forth Ports’ continued success under Stuart Wallace’s leadership.

Stuart Wallace Ready for the Challenge

Incoming CEO Stuart Wallace, currently the Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Forth Ports board, expressed pride and honor in leading the organization. Wallace, set to guide Forth Ports through the challenges of a just transition to net zero and the expansion of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, acknowledged the strong foundation laid by Charles Hammond. He emphasized his confidence in the capable team at Forth Ports, foreseeing continued growth and success.

Praise from Principal Shareholder

Principal shareholder Patrick Samson, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Real Assets Investments at PSP Investments, expressed gratitude for Charles Hammond’s exceptional leadership over his more than 23-year tenure. Looking ahead, Samson expressed excitement about Stuart Wallace’s succession, citing his operational experience and strategic mindset as valuable assets for leading Forth Ports into its next phase of growth.

A Distinguished Career and Legacy

Charles Hammond, recognized with an OBE in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honors List, has had a distinguished career at Forth Ports. Joining in 1989 as Company Secretary, he became Chief Executive in 2001 and oversaw the company’s expansion and transition to private ownership in 2011. His successor, Stuart Wallace, a qualified Chartered Accountant, has been with Forth Ports since 2002 and has played key roles in the company’s financial and operational domains.

As Forth Ports navigates this leadership transition, the industry awaits the next chapter under Stuart Wallace’s guidance.

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