The new chief executive of Aberdeen Harbour Board (AHB) officially takes up her duties this morning.
Michelle Handforth has taken over from Colin Parker, who has retired after more than 11 years leading the business.
Ms Handforth, 55, was previously managing director of Aberdeen-based helicopter operator Babcock Mission Critical Services Offshore.
She takes up the reins after an exhaustive recruitment process and at a crucial stage in Aberdeen Harbour’s history, with work on a £375million expansion well under way.
AHB said she brought with her 20 years of board and leadership experience in global, multi-site businesses.
Chairman Alistair Mackenzie added: “Michelle is joining Aberdeen Harbour at an incredibly important time for the organisation.
“Construction works are well under way at the Aberdeen South harbour site, while we continue to focus on providing second-to-none services and facilities for our customers 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.
“She is tremendously well-equipped to tackle and realise these goals.”
Ms Handforth said: “After being offered the post towards the end of last year, I’ve been very much looking forward to getting started at Aberdeen Harbour Board.
“Colin Parker’s work here at the port, which spans over 30 years, has left a lasting legacy for us all.
“He oversaw a number of significant infrastructure projects, which modernised the facilities available to our customers, including the development of Torry marine base and the planning of the ongoing harbour expansion into Nigg Bay.
“As Britain’s oldest existing business, with a solid strategy in place for our future, I am committed to continuing this work.
“I am certain that the harbour will continue to thrive and provide a significant contribution to the local, regional and national economy.”
Expansion of the harbour is expected to help existing users diversify and grow their businesses, while attracting new customers and markets. Bosses are targeting, for example, a bigger share of the Scottish cruise ship industry.
Since work started last April, contractor Dragados has completed more than 655ft of new breakwater.