The port operator of the United Kingdom (UK), Peel Ports, has announced major changes to its senior leadership team that will take effect from 4 April 2022.
Firstly, chairman Tom Allison will stand down but he will remain on the board, representing shareholder interests of Peel Group as a non-executive director.
Mark Whitworth will also stand down as chief executive officer but will assume the role of chairman, overseeing the strategic development and governance of the group.
Hence, the duties of the CEO will take over Claudio Veritiero, while the group readies to commence a new investment programme across its primary assets.
Whitworth noted that the time is right for changes, which have been two years in the planning "to ensure a smooth transition."
He joined Peel Ports as chief executive in 2010 and over this period, he has led major transformations across the business, including the concept and launch of Liverpool2, a US$543 million (£400 million) deepwater container terminal and the ongoing regeneration of major hubs such as the shipyard Inchgreen Dry Dock in Scotland.
Significant acquisitions including the Port of Great Yarmouth and Quality Freight, which is now known as Peel Ports Logistics, are also included in Whitworth’s portfolio, all contributing to three-fold growth in profitability from when he joined the business," according to the group.
"We have ambitious plans to maintain the growth trajectory, which in turn will continue to create positive results not only for our company but also for the regions and communities we operate within, for many years to come," claimed Whitworth.
Tom Allison was appointed chief executive of the port network Clydeport PLC in 1997 and subsequently led the creation of Peel Ports Group in 2003. He then combined the role of CEO and chairman, overseeing the acquisition of Mersey Docks and Harbour Company in 2005.
Whitworth commented about Allison, "His business acumen and strategic counsel have been critical over the last 25 years and we are privileged to have him continuing to support the company as a non-executive director."
As for Claudio Veritiero, he joined Peel Ports in 2021 with over 25 years of experience in the infrastructure, logistics, property development and financing markets.
He was previously chief operating officer of the construction company Kier Group, while he has held the same role in Speedy Hire and in the investment banking advisory division of Rothschild & Co.
Veritiero said, "One of my priorities will be to take stock of the changing needs of our customers and the port communities in which we operate so that we can further enhance our offering and customer experience."
The UK group has seen significant growth, averaging 10% year-on-year across the last 10 years and outlaying over US$1.63 billion (£1.2 billion) into projects over the same period.
Peel Ports' key facilities include Port of Liverpool, Manchester Ship Canal, Heysham Port, Clydeport, Great Yarmouth, London Medway and the Marine Terminals Ltd container terminal in Dublin.