Aberdeen Harbour Appoints new Chief Executive

Aberdeen Harbour Board appoints new Chief Executive

Aberdeen Harbour Board is delighted to announce that, following an extensive recruitment process, Michelle Handforth is to join in the role of Chief Executive.

Michelle, who has 20 years of board and leadership experience in global, multi-site businesses, will succeed Colin Parker in her new role, however, Colin will remain in post as Chief Executive until an appropriate handover has been completed.

Alistair Mackenzie, Chairman of Aberdeen Harbour Board, welcomed Michelle into the new role. He said: “Michelle joins Aberdeen Harbour at a very exciting and challenging time. 

“With the expansion works commenced at Aberdeen South Harbour and ‘business as usual’ very much the requirement of the day in the existing harbour, Michelle will be tasked with overseeing the successful completion of project works and in facilitating business growth in the existing facilities. Michelle’s considerable commercial and operational experience at a senior level means that she is tremendously well equipped to tackle and realise these goals.”   

Michelle commented, “I am delighted to be joining such a prestigious organisation. It has an incredible history and yet is also so focussed on the future. I very much look forward to meeting and engaging with Harbour staff, customers and to reaching out to the broader stakeholder community.”

Michelle’s career has seen her hold leadership roles in the areas of aviation, rail, maritime, financial service and oil and gas industries. She is currently Managing Director of BabcockMCS Offshore helicopters based in Aberdeen and has served on the Boards of First Choice Holidays, Sea Containers (Rail) – former operators of the East Coast Rail and Orient Express Group – Aviva, Veolia Transdev and as General Manager for Sydney Ferries in Australia.

Michelle is also a former member of the Board of National Rail Enquiry Services and Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC).  Whilst living and working in Australia she was a Board member of the Committee for Sydney, Sponsoring Director for international talent New South Wales Board of Economic Development and a member of the Institute of Customer Services Australasia.

Michelle has a BA (hons) Law degree and is a Barrister, called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1986.  She has worked internationally in the USA, Europe, India and Australasia.  Whilst in India she also established a community care and education programme for orphaned children in Mumbai.

Aberdeen Harbour Appoints new Chief Executive