Antony Sheriff joins shortly after Princess announced it would cut 350 jobs.
Princess Yachts have named the former managing director of supercar manufacturer McLaren Automotive as the new chairman of Princess Yachts International plc.
Antony Sheriff will succeed Philippe Mellier at Princess, and Mellier will remain on the board of the boat manufacturer’s holding company.
The 52-year-old American-Italian Sheriff headed up McLaren for a decade but took the carmaker to court following his resignation in 2013.
Sheriff joins just weeks after Princess announced it would cut 350 jobs as part of a company restructure. The luxury yacht maker employs around 2,000 at its headquarters in Plymouth on the UK’s south coast, and said the cuts would affect the back office, development and production divisions.
Princess is launching new models of its yachts in 2016 in spite of its economic troubles. Chris Gates, managing director of Princess Yachts said the manufacturer had weathered difficult economic conditions from 2008 onwards but had invested heavily in state-of-the-art facilities and product development and was proud of the firm’s commitment to Plymouth.
In a statement about the management change, Gates said: “It was an absolute pleasure to have worked with Philippe Mellier over the past year as he was really passionate about the brand and product and I thank him for all of his efforts.
“I’m delighted to welcome Antony here at Princess as our new executive chairman. I can clearly see his experience and energy adding tremendous value to our business and I am looking forward to working alongside him to further develop Princess over the coming years.”
And Sheriff expressed enthusiasm about his new role: “I am thrilled to be stepping into such a respected luxury brand that is clearly seen as a world leader in the industry.
“Over 50 years, Princess has built a well-deserved reputation for building the finest boats in its class and I am looking forward to working with Chris and the rest of the brilliant team at Princess, to continue to build the best and most innovative products while delivering the best customer experience in the industry.
“I hope to help grow Princess into a truly iconic British brand with far reaching recognition and respect.”
Under Sheriff’s leadership, McLaren conceived a range of ground-breaking supercars such as the MP4-12C, 650S, 570S and P1 that were successful models for the company.
Sheriff built a global distribution network for McLaren during his tenure and turned the company into an elite, technology-driven and profitable luxury sports car brand.