The man at the head of global diamond empire De Beers has been appointed chairman of a luxury yacht firm in Plymouth.
Phillipe Mellier, Chief Executive officer of The De Beers Group will take the helm at Princess Yachts International, based at Newport Street, Plymouth.
David King, a founder of the company in 1965, stands down as chairman at the end of the month to ‘allow new minds to lead the company’.
Chris Gates, Princess Yachts’ managing director, said: “David King is and always will be a part of Princess. He has been a magnificent servant to this company and the wider British boat building industry.
“This change of roles will allow us to strengthen and grow the business while still benefiting from David’s unmatched experience and skill in designing the best motor yachts in the world. We look forward to welcoming Philippe into the Princess family and benefiting from the vast experience he brings from the luxury goods and high-performance manufacturing sectors.”
Mr King will remain a director and focus mainly on new yacht design and development, an area in which he has always been heavily involved.
The Princess board of directors has appointed Philippe Mellier as its new Chairman.
Mr Mellier is a French national, domiciled to the UK, and will continue as Chief Executive of The De Beers Group.
He will serve in a non-executive capacity at Princess Yachts International.
He was previously the Executive Vice President at Alstom s.a., the world’s leading high-speed train producer. He has also held senior and board-level positions within Ford, Renault and the Volvo Group.
He brings experience in high-quality, performance-focused product manufacturing, marketing and sales.
Mr King said he could not have conceived of the growth and success the company has achieved since 1965.
He said: “From our humble beginnings we have become a world-leading company respected across the international boat building sector and one that enjoys secure ownership and management.”
“It has been my privilege and pleasure to work alongside you all and I look forward to working with you still, in my role focusing on product development.”