Serco NorthLink Ferries has appointed Stuart Garrett as managing director of its Scottish operation from 5 July.
Garrett departs as operations and human resources director from the Steam Packet company, Isle of Man – the world's oldest continuously operating shipping company – to take up the new post. With more than 25 years at senior management and director level in the European ferry industry, his past employers include major ferry companies Sealink, Stena Line and Sea Containers.
Serco business development director Jamie Ross said: “Stuart is well qualified to lead NorthLink Ferries for Serco. He is well known and respected in the ferry sector and has a strong understanding of the dynamics of running island ferry services as well as an understanding of Northern Isles communities.
“We are absolutely delighted that Stuart is joining us and believe he is the ideal candidate to deliver our plans for the next six years, which will build on the strengths of the current NorthLink operation and introduce a variety of improvements to the services.”
Garrett’s start date coincides with the company’s first day of operating Northern Isles ferry services after winning the Scottish Government contract to run the service from mainland Scotland to the Orkney and Shetland Islands. An Islands regular, resulting from his wife’s Orkney and Shetland heritage, Garrett intends leading the management team from a base in Aberdeen.
He said: “Having worked in the ferry industry for many years and spent a significant amount of time in the Northern Isles, I look forward to ongoing engagement with the local community as we make some exciting enhancements to this vital lifeline ferry service.
“The safety, quality and reliability of the service we offer to local communities is what will drive me. This is a lifeline service that needs to be delivered with care, but it is also set for growth in passengers and freight which is what Serco plans to do for the benefit of Islanders, businesses, tourism and government.”