Today, Moonen Shipyards announced a shake-up in its senior management team. Johan Dubbelman will take over as interim CEO, with managing director Emile Bilterijst moving on from the company and selling his minority shares in Moonen Yachts Holding.
As widely reported, the Dutch superyacht builder has weathered the impact of the global financial crisis. Bilterijst, speaking to SuperyachtNews earlier this year, explained how this forced the yard to re-examine its identity, focusing on how the market is changing and how they can adjust accordingly. This process included conducting an in-depth customer survey to understand how they were viewed in the market.
Speaking to SuperyachtNews at the opening of Moonen's new Fort Lauderdale office, Dubbelman revealed that the new appointment and changes to the senior team had only been apparent within the last four weeks; “The change came quite rapidly,” he admits.
“I’ve been 15 years with Moonen, I’ve done three builds. The shareholders appointed me as a trustee to run this business,” he continues. Dubbelman hinted that there were changes on the horizon for the shipyard, with plans to be revealed over the coming months that will affect the yard for current and future clients.
Dubbelman, who has been at the company since 2002, started as head of purchasing for Moonen. He then progressed into project managing, and three years ago, he joined the commercial team. “We have a lot of distinguished clientele,” he says, “ but we also need to change for new clients. Change will come, that is for sure.” This echoes the rhetoric promoted by the outgoing CEO, Bilterijst, during the 2017 HISWA tour. Bilterijst previously explained that the yard was looking at different ways to engage with the next generation of superyacht owners, most evidently seen in their latest Navarino explorer concept.
For Dubbelman, his vision for the yard and passion for the market is evident, but he is also keen to point out his interest in the commercial aspects of his new venture, within Moonen's senior team. “I want to make money. That is why I am doing this. I’ve been in the industry my whole life. I want to build beautiful boats, listen to clients about what they want and I want to make money as well. That is what it’s all about.” A strong statement from the shipyard's new CEO, therefore, it will be interesting to see how this attitude will shape Moonen’s strategy in 2018 and beyond.
Image: Moonen's Navarino explorer concept.