One of Scotland's longest serving CEOs to step down under port giant's succession plan

Charles Hammond OBE joined Leith-based Forth Ports in 1989 and was appointed chief executive in 2001.
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A succession plan has been unveiled at Forth Ports in a move that sees its chief executive Charles Hammond stand down after leading Scotland’s largest ports operator for more than two decades.

Hammond is to step down from his role at the end of June 2024. His successor will be Stuart Wallace, who is currently the company’s chief operating officer. Hammond, who was awarded an OBE and is one of Scotland’s longest-serving chief executives, will work closely with Wallace over the next six months to “ensure a smooth transition”. Wallace, who is already a member of the Forth Ports board, will take up his appointment on July 1.

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Hammond, who will be 63 when he steps down, joined Forth Ports when it was a publicly run ports and river authority in 1989 as company secretary. He was appointed chief executive in 2001 and has overseen the group’s expansion to a point today when the business owns and operates eight commercial ports, encompassing Tilbury on the Thames, six ports on the Firth of Forth and Dundee on Tay.

Charles Hammond OBE with Stuart Wallace taken at the Port of Leith. Picture: Jamie SimpsonCharles Hammond OBE with Stuart Wallace taken at the Port of Leith. Picture: Jamie Simpson
Charles Hammond OBE with Stuart Wallace taken at the Port of Leith. Picture: Jamie Simpson

He said: “It has been the privilege of my career to lead Forth Ports. From the significant growth of the business on both sides of the Border to the challenges of the pandemic and Brexit, I have been fortunate enough to have been supported by the best team in the industry. The most consistent feature of my time at Forth Ports has been the stability that we have sought to create and, while I step down at the most exciting of times, I do so with the confidence that I will leave behind a business that is in great hands and very well positioned to continue to flourish.”

Most recently, the company set out its ambitious plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2042 and carbon neutrality by 2032. Forth Ports is also a major partner in both the Thames Freeport and the Forth Green Freeport, which last month submitted its outline business case to the Scottish and UK governments.

Wallace said: “I am proud and honoured to have been asked to lead this fantastic organisation as we face the challenges and opportunities of a just transition to net zero and the significant expansion of Scotland’s renewable energy sector. With the great team that we have built right across the business, I am confident that Forth Ports will continue to thrive. I am immensely grateful to Charles for steering the business into such a strong position and for his mentorship and support for me personally. I look forward to the next chapter in the Forth Ports story with relish.”

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Patrick Samson, senior vice president and global head of Real Assets Investments at PSP Investments, Forth Ports’ principal shareholder, added: “Charles will have been CEO at Forth Ports for more than 23 years when he steps down and we are grateful for his exceptional leadership and his contributions to the company over the last 12 years of our ownership. With his extensive operational experience and strategic mindset, we are confident in Stuart’s ability to lead Forth Ports through the next stage of its growth. We wish Charles all the best in this next phase of his career.”

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