Having been one of the original founders of Princess Yachts in 1965, David King is to stand down as chairman at the end of August 2014. Citing his wish for new minds to lead the company forward, King will remain a director and focus mainly on new yacht design and development, an area in which he has always been heavily involved. After a period of consultation, the Princess board of directors has appointed Philippe Mellier as its new chairman.

Mellier is currently CEO of diamond company The De Beers Group and was previously the executive vice president at Alstom s.a., a leading high-speed train producer. Prior to this, Mellier worked in the automotive sector, holding senior and board-level positions within Ford, Renault and the Volvo Group. “He brings to the role uniquely useful experience in high-quality, performance-focused product manufacturing, marketing and sales,” said Princess in a statement, adding that Mellier will also continue as CEO of The De Beers Group and serve in a non-executive capacity at Princess.


Princess 40m hull.

Speaking of the reshuffle, and of the company’s strategy going forward, managing director Chris Gates 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 boatbuilding 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 motoryachts 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.”

The new appointment comes in time for the upcoming show season and, in light of this, SuperyachtNews.com asked the yard about its plans for the Monaco Yacht Show. “Following the success of the 40m, since its 2012 launch, we have been very much focused on delivering yachts to owners, with six orders now taken and four boats in the water,” explained Carl Richardson, director of communications. “Ultimately, we are very happy to have a yacht to show at Monaco and many thanks must go to the owner of Solaris for this opportunity. With the new 35M launching next year and another M Class model due for launch soon after it promises to be a very exciting 12 months for Princess and M Class.”

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