Thursday 10 Jan 2013 05:00

Ferry boss to jump ship

The managing director of the biggest commercial ferry operation in the region is to step down following restructuring at the firm.

Danish operator DFDS Seaways has announced plans to merge its two passenger sales organisations in the UK – one of which handles its four ferry routes on the English Channel, and the other that oversees its Newcastle to Amsterdam and Hawich to Esberg (Denmark) routes.

The move has prompted John Crummie, who has headed up DFDS Seaways at its Tyneside base for several years and been with the company since 1989, to voluntarily exit the group.

He has informed DFDS “that he will not be a part of the new organisation, and will use this change as an opportunity to seek new challenges outside DFDS Seaways”.

Pete Ackerman, who has previously served as head of marketing in Newcastle is returning to the company and will take over responsibility as head of the Newcastle office in addition to his new role as head of UK marketing & strategy.

John Crummie said: “Over 24 years of service with DFDS Seaways I have had the pleasure of dealing with many challenges and opportunities with a great team of colleagues across all corners of DFDS Seaways and onboard our North Sea passenger ships.  Our successes have been many which also benefited from support from several trade, travel industry and media partners.

“I wish DFDS Seaways and the excellent teams in Newcastle and Harwich every success in the future.

"The company has an excellent reputation we have collectively built up over the years and I know that the staff in Newcastle and Harwich will be in good hands with Max Foster and Pete Akerman who know the dynamics of our business well.”

In 2011 more than 560,000 passengers used the Newcastle-Amsterdam route, a rise of more than 7,500 passengers on the previous year, with those travelling with a vehicle increasing by by 4.8% to 99,000.