Main characters of Ferry on the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. to retire this summer


Senior Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. officials, who between them have amassed more than half a century of dedicated service to the Manx ferry company, will retire later this year.

CEO Mark Woodward and Commercial Director John Watt will both be stepping down in July 2021.

Well respected by their colleagues ashore and afloat, they collectively accumulated 58 years during which they oversaw a number of changes, including the acquisition of the IOM Steam-Packet by the government of Manx and the management of the detailed operation to secure a new goal. – ship built, the entry into service of which is scheduled for 2023.

Mark Woodward joined the company in 1989 as a management accountant, then joined operations in 1995. He succeeded the late Hamish Ross as CEO in 2007.

Leading the past 14 years, in which the company has grown from strength to strength, his vast knowledge and experience have proven invaluable, creating a strong long-term platform to provide continued investments in maritime services that meet the needs. from the island.

He commented: “I have been considering my retirement for about a year now. While I was happy in December to be invited to stay a few more years, finally the glimpse of the freedom that working from home offered last year led to my final decision. I have run the company in both calm seas and rough waters for 14 years now and am happy that it is in good hands under the chairmanship of Lars Ugland.

“Of course I will miss all of my colleagues and the camaraderie in the office. It has been a real pleasure and an honor to work for such a vital and historic company.

John Watt joined the company in 1995 and joined the board of directors eight years later. During his tenure, the number of passenger crossings more than doubled, while the average fares paid halved in real terms.

He said: “It has been a privilege to serve this great company during a fascinating time in its long history. Meanwhile, fast boats have replaced conventional tonnage in some areas, special offers rather than standard fares have become the norm, the number of services from Liverpool has nearly tripled, and passenger services from Heysham have doubled. It was a real pleasure to work for such an important company and with such friendly and professional colleagues.

President Lars Ugland added: “ I would like to express our gratitude for the long service of Mark and John and to salute the excellent contribution they have made.

Under Mark’s leadership, the company has made great strides in delivering what’s best for our island, stabilizing the long-term future of maritime services for the Isle of Man and its people.

His quick intelligence, great experience, sense of humor and loyalty made him an excellent Managing Director and he offered constant wise advice, always with the best interests of the company and the Isle of Man to heart. He will be dearly missed by me, the staff and the board.

Likewise, John’s diligent and efficient manner has served us well and he too will be dearly missed, both personally and for his contribution to the success of the company.


About Lillian Coomer

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