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Condor CEO steps down "with immediate effect"

Condor CEO steps down

Wednesday 21 February 2024

Condor CEO steps down "with immediate effect"

Wednesday 21 February 2024


The CEO of Condor Ferries has stepped down "with immediate effect" in the wake of backlash over freight price hikes and ongoing discussions on the future of Channel Islands' travel and goods supply links.

John Napton will be replaced by Christophe Mathieu, CEO of Brittany Ferries, which is part of the consortium which owns Condor.

Mr Mathieu, who is long term board member of Condor, will serve as Interim CEO.

He will provide "interim leadership and stability with a focus on maintaining lifeline freight and passenger services to the islands", according to Condor.

Announcing Mr Mathieu's appointment, the ferry company reiterated that "Condor believes it is the right operator, with the right vessels, to serve the Islands for many years to come" following the recent procurement process for a new long-term operating agreement for freight and passenger services to the Channel Islands.

Condor freight.jpg

Pictured: Condor faced backlash at the end of last year when the ferry operator outlined plans to increase freight prices by inflation plus 10%, resulting in a total increase of 18.76% from 1 January 2024. 

Mr Napton's departure comes shortly after the ferry operator came under fire for proposed price rise of almost 19%.

The proposed 18.76% price hike emerged in an email sent to Ferryspeed and Profreight customers at the beginning of December.

This was quickly followed by backlash from the business community, who voiced concerns about the impact on customers.

Economic Development Minister Kirsten Morel then publicly called on Condor to justify the increase in price, saying that he "find[s] it hard to see the justification for price rises which are so significantly above" inflation levels, which sat at just under 9% in September.

The ferry operator responded days later, saying it had "no choice", and was dealing with "significantly above-inflation rises in some port costs and other fees, which in some cases are between 18% to 35%".

Christophe_Mathieu_CEO_Brittany_Ferries.jpg

Pictured: Christophe Mathieu, CEO of Brittany Ferries, will now serve as Condor's Interim CEO.

In a statement issued today, Russel Kew, Condor Ferries’ Executive Chairman, said: "We would like to thank John [Napton] for his leadership over his time with the company, during which he oversaw the continuation of services during the pandemic and the introduction of our latest vessel, Condor Islander, last year.

"We all wish him well for the future."

Mr Kew continued: "Christophe [Mathieu] possesses exceptional experience in ferry operations as CEO of Brittany Ferries and will provide strong leadership for Condor.

"He also knows our people, customers and the islands well so it is very much business as usual."

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