Peterhead Port Authority (PPA) chief executive Ian Laidlaw has quit his post and left the business after less than 18 months.
Both Mr Laidlaw and the port insisted yesterday the parting of ways, in the middle of the harbour’s £50million redevelopment, was entirely amicable.
“The projects are in the home straight,” Mr Laidlaw said last night, adding: “There was no animosity – I just felt it was time to move on and do something different”.
He ran his own project management consultancy before taking the PPA hotseat in July last year, and said he may “resurrect” this following his decision to step down.
Mr Laidlaw, who lives in Mintlaw, has had a working relationship with PPA and before that Peterhead Bay Authority stretching back more than 20 years.
He was key in delivering PPA’s £33million Smith Quay development in 2011 and also involved in the earlier construction of the port’s Princess Royal jetty.
Former chief executive John Wallace, who retired last year, is back at the helm temporarily and pressing on with managing the redelopment of Europe’s busiest white-fish port until a permanent successor to Mr Laidlaw is found.
A PPA statement said: “The convener and board of Peterhead Port Authority have received and accepted, with immediate effect, the formal resignation of the chief executive.
“Mr Laidlaw…has overseen the £50million, ongoing major development works to construct an enlarged fish market and deepen the inner harbours.
“He is leaving to pursue other business opportunities and the members thank him for his contribution to the development, while wishing him every success in the future.”
Convener Gavin Thain added the board had moved as swiftly as possible to fill this gap, while Mr Wallace’s appointment as interim CEO would “ensure a seamless transition”, with minimal disruption to the port’s customers as longer-term measures are put in place.”