THE managing director of Poole’s luxury boatbuilder Sunseeker is to stand down at the end of this month.
The news comes less than a year after the Chinese-based Wanda Group acquired almost 92 per cent of the company’s shares.
A statement said: “Sunseeker announces that, after five years’ service and having led the business through successive periods of ownership, Stewart McIntyre has confirmed his decision to step down as managing director and will leave the Sunseeker Group at the end of July 2014, to pursue other interests.
“To ensure the continuation of a strong management structure, Wanda Group has restated its commitment to the management and operations of Sunseeker Group and has formed a special board committee with responsibility for the selection and appointment of a new CEO for the Sunseeker Group.
“Sunseeker is also advanced with plans to appoint two independent non-executive directors to strengthen Sunseeker’s operating model and to bring further strategic expertise to the Sunseeker Board and thereby ensure the continued future success of Sunseeker's business and its global brand.
“In the interim, Wanda Group has endorsed the appointment of Robert Braithwaite CBE as acting president of Sunseeker. Braithwaite, founder of Sunseeker, will now work alongside Sunseeker's executive team and Wanda Group's post-merger integration team, who will manage the business, pending the appointment of a new CEO.”
The Beijing-headquartered Wanda Group conglomerate is owned by biollionaire Wang Jianlin, named China’s richest person by Forbes Magazine in 2013.
Chairman Wang Jianlin of Wanda Group said in the statement: “Wanda is committed to Sunseeker and its workforce and as such looks forward to working with the new management on initiatives that continue to build the brand. In the meantime, Wanda has already put a plan in place to transform Sunseeker to the next generation of success. Wanda will continue to provide both financial and management support to Sunseeker going forward.”
Robert Braithwaite, on behalf of the executive team, said: “Sunseeker is not just a boat manufacturer; it is a family and a global brand. We are proud of our heritage, but as a company, Sunseeker has never stood still and we will work very hard together with Wanda Group to further strengthen our leading market position, through cutting edge innovation, world class services and a global distribution network.
“We have huge confidence that the team in Poole, as well as the wider distributor and supplier network, will pull together as a team to take Sunseeker forward to a successful future.“
The company unveiled its 155 yacht – the largest private motor yacht built in the UK – in April and said it would be announcing a market-leading new model programme for 2015 and beyond as it approached the European boat show season.