Forth Ports Chief Executive receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Edinburgh Chamber

Forth Ports Chief Executive receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Edinburgh Chamber

Declan BarbourForth Ports

One of Scotland’s most respected Chief Executives has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce. Charles Hammond OBE, who steps down as CEO of Forth Ports after 23 years later this year, received the accolade at a glittering awards ceremony in Edinburgh last night (29 February 2024). Forth Ports were also successful at the annual business awards winning in the Large Business of the Year category.

Charles has been active in the ports sector for over 30 years and his outstanding service to the business community was acknowledged by Edinburgh Chamber Chief Executive, Liz McAreavey: “We are delighted to honour, with our Lifetime Achievement Award, the considerable accomplishments and service of Charles Hammond OBE, who steps down as Chief Executive of Forth Ports this summer after a stellar career spanning 35 years. During his career he has overseen the significant and strategic growth of Forth Ports’ operations across the UK, has served the communities in which they operate and has fulfilled many leadership roles representing the interests of business, the industry, the Chamber and the city with great distinction.”

Charles led the port group through the challenges of the global pandemic where, as a key industry, the port sector had to remain active to keep food, medicine and medical equipment moving across the quaysides throughout lockdown.  As a champion of Net Zero, Charles recently set the company’s ambitious plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2042 and carbon neutrality by 2032.

He has been instrumental in managing the development of the people of Forth Ports with his latest “youth policy” bringing in new, young talent but also attracting a wider cohort of employees, thus bringing diversity and strength to its workforce.

The local communities around the ports are something Charles cares passionately about and is extremely proud that Forth Ports is the only port company in the UK to have successfully delivered two Freeport bids, one in the Forth Estuary and one in Tilbury.  Charles was instrumental in the creation of the Leith Community Trust with seed capital being provided by both Forth Ports and its customer base and the funds now being distributed to organisations.

Commenting on receiving the award, Charles Hammond OBE said: “I feel honoured and privileged to receive this award from the Chamber and I am very grateful. It is also fantastic for the team to be awarded the Large Business of the Year award too.

My career achievements have not been a solo effort and I want to dedicate this award to the fantastic team at Forth Ports who will take the business forward.”

A qualified lawyer, Charles, joined Forth Ports when it was a publicly run ports and river authority in 1989 as Company Secretary. He was appointed Chief Executive in 2001 and has overseen Forth Ports’ expansion to a point today when the company owns and operates eight commercial ports, including Tilbury on the Thames, six ports on the Firth of Forth and Dundee on the Firth of Tay. He also oversaw the company’s move from a publicly listed PLC to private ownership in 2011.

Charles was awarded an OBE in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to the UK ports industry and to Scottish business and in November 2023 stood down from his role as Chair of the UK Major Ports Group after 10 years at the helm.

Charles is currently a member of The Scottish Energy Advisory Board and is a strategic adviser to Ports of Jersey after 4 years as a Non-Executive Director and is a member of the Global Britain Commission. He has previously been Chairman of SpaceandPeople Group, the retail, promotional and brand experience specialist and is a past Chairman of Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh, the Economic Development Agency for the East of Scotland.

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