Associated British Ports chief James Cooper to step down
GRIMSBY CALL: James Cooper, chief executive of Associated British Ports.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 20 Sep 2017
CHIEF executive of Associated British Ports, James Cooper, is to step down.
He first joined the board as a non-executive director in May 2007, taking the top role in April 2013.
Mr Cooper has overseen significant changes in personnel on the Humber - where more than 50 per cent of the business's trade is handled.
Mr Cooper, who approached the board about his wishes recently, said: “After 10 years in the business I felt the time was right to begin discussions about my succession.
“I look forward to continuing to work with the great team at ABP and welcoming my successor when they are appointed next year."
He took over from Peter Jones in the London-based role, and was actually vice chairman to a key appointment he made - Humber ports director Simon Bird - on the UK Major Ports Group before he moved up from Bristol two years ago. Since November that year Mr Cooper has chaired the organisation.
ABP chairman Dr Philip Nolan said: “I would like to pay tribute to James’ leadership and vision for ABP. He has overseen a transformation in the business, ensuring ABP is well placed to meet the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities presented in the future."
Should ABP look to recruit internally, Mr Bird, pictured left, could well be in the running, with the Humber such a large part of the group's overall business.
It handles 86 million tonnes of cargo, 16 per cent of the UK’s maritime trade, with Immingham alone taking 47 million tonnes last year.
Mr Bird celebrates two years in the region this week, having taken over from John Fitzgerald, who went from director of Port of Grimsby and Immingham to a Humber-wide role in a move that saw his Hull equivalent Matt Jukes leave.
Mr Jukes is now chief executive of Hull City Council.