PORT OF TYNE CHAIRMAN STEPS DOWN10 Jul 2012
As Chairman since 2005, and a board member for two years before that, Sir Ian has overseen massive changes to modernise and commercialise the Port and bring it fully into the twenty-first century. The Port has responded to new trade patterns, dramatically expanded its service offering, moved into entirely new cargo sectors and acted swiftly, in terms of investment and skills, to make the most of new opportunities.
Sir Ian said: "During my time as Chairman, I am very proud to have overseen such a huge amount of change and success not just for the Port but for its considerable impact on the North East region and local economy. I am also pleased to be handing over after a record year's performance which reflects the changes that have been made."
Andrew Moffat, Chief Executive at the Port of Tyne added: "Sir Ian has contributed to the success of the business throughout his time as chair and seen a great amount of progress and change during his time on the board.
"He leaves behind a much more dynamic and forward-facing organisation that is well placed to respond to new and exciting opportunities."
Sir Les Elton, who has served as Deputy Chairman for five years, will assume the Chair - and the former Chief Executive of Gateshead Council is hugely optimistic for the Port's future.
"The record results reported during 2011 are testament to the fact that investing for the future has really paid off. I am pleased to be stepping in to a role that is filled with potential moving forwards," he said.
And Sir Ian predicts more good times ahead for the Port of Tyne. He highlighted its strengths in coal, wood pellets and other important bulk cargoes, its position as one of Europe's top five car handling ports, and its unique ‘one-stop-shop' offering which includes handling containers, unloading the contents, storing goods in high-tech quayside warehousing, and delivering ‘to the door' via its own haulage fleet.
Sir Ian will continue to be active both in the region and nationally. He was recently appointed National Treasurer of the Liberal Democrat Party. "My definition of retirement is doing what I want to do when I want to do it, and I have been doing that for a decade or more," he added.
"However, I feel the Port of Tyne is ready for more change and the leadership of Andrew Moffat, who came from a high level in the mobile telecoms world, and the new management team has brought a new, commercially-focussed perspective to the Port which will continue long after I step down."
One of his high points of the decade was seeing the cruise business develop. "If you had asked people in 2003 whether they thought cruise ships would start visiting the Tyne, they would have thought you were joking. In the past they would never have believed that people on a luxury cruise would want to visit Tyneside and the North East.
"For me the most outstanding and symbolic event, not just for the Tyne, but for the whole of the region was the arrival of the QE II. This demonstrated how much the Port and the region had been transformed, with so many developments on the banks of the river and the whole region moving very much into the 21st century. The ‘old' North East is very much behind us."
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