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This appointment is closed and is displayed for reference only. 


Remuneration:£356 per day 


Closing date:25 October 2019 at midnight 

Appointment of the Chair of the Board of David MacBrayne Limited

Two/Three year appointment from 1 January 2020

Scottish Ministers are looking to appoint a new Chair to the Board of David MacBrayne Limited (DML).

Scottish Ministers particularly welcome applications from groups currently under-represented on Scotland’s public bodies, such as women, disabled people, ethnic minorities and people aged under 50.  Please complete our monitoring form when you apply as this helps us to ensure that the appointments process is accessible to everyone.

David MacBrayne Limited

With over 160 years’ experience, DML is one of Scotland’s longest continually running businesses, and one of Scotland’s largest logistics companies.  A multi-award winning ferry operator, harbour and ship management specialist, it employs around 1500 people with an annual turnover of approximately £200 million.  It transports more than five million passengers annually and operates 25 ports within the UK.  Recent successes include securing the £1 billion, eight year, Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services contract from the Scottish Government, and a £1 billion, 35 year, concession to run Marchwood Military Port, the UK's busiest military port on Southampton Water.

The company’s mission is to provide transport and infrastructure services to communities, supporting the aims of the Scottish Government and to make a commercial return to our shareholder, the Scottish Ministers.

The vision of DML is to continue to grow as a recognised leading outsourced, international transport infrastructure and logistics services group. Duncan Mackison has recently been appointed as Chief Executive.  He brings a strong track record of delivering large government contracts having recently served as the managing director of Serco Defence, where he was entrusted with handling over 60 contracts in maritime, aviation and satellite services.  Duncan has a remit to drive the growth and change across the group.

Our current largest subsidiary company is CalMac Ferries Limited (CFL).  CFL is the UK’s largest ferry operator in terms of ships and destinations served and one of the largest transport operators in Scotland.  It is a multi-award winning ferry and port operation and ship management specialist providing essential lifeline services and logistical support to island and remote communities.

The Opportunity

With the decision of David McGibbon to stand down later this year, Scottish Ministers now seek to appoint a successor to the role of Chair of the Board.  The Chair and Chief Executive will help the company drive a transformational change in the way it approaches both current and future business.  This is a wonderful opportunity to be part of a highly motivated team where executive and non-executive directors work effectively together in a dynamic and demanding environment.

While some knowledge and experience of the sector would be beneficial, the candidate does not need to come from a maritime background.  It is as likely that they will have worked in an outsourced or major services/contracting background and will have experience of operating across the private and public sector.

The Chair must offer drive and dedication during what will be a significant period of change.  A passion for commercialisation of innovation, an appreciation of disruptive technology and an understanding of such are key to a forward-thinking business such as DML, in order to harness future opportunities.

About the Chair role

This is a Ministerial appointment made by the Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands.

The Board comprises of six non-executive directors (including the Chair) plus two executive directors.  There are a number of sub-committees including:

  • Audit & Risk

  • Remuneration

  • Safety

Through active, dynamic and creative leadership of the Board, the Chair will have the ability to lead discussions on complex issues, weigh up conflicting opinions and facilitate Board decisions consistent with company values, defined strategy and shareholder value whilst meeting (Ministerial) objectives, expectations and guidance.

The Chair will set the Board agenda primarily focussed on strategy, performance, value creation, culture, stakeholder engagement and accountability and ensuring that issues relevant to these areas are reserved for Board decision.

Essential Skills

All applicants will be expected to provide evidence for the following:

  • Leadership/Corporate Governance

  • Transformational Change

  • Customer/Consumer Focus

  • Contracts/Commercial Understanding

  • Understanding of the political climate in which DML operates;

  • Communication (written/verbal)

Time Commitment and Remuneration

The fee is £356.00 per day for a time commitment of two to three days per week.  Reimbursement will also be made for all reasonable travel and subsistence costs and any reasonable dependant/carer expenses, including child care, incurred whilst undertaking Board duties and for support required to help members carry out their duties effectively.  No pension scheme will be provided.


While the headquarters are based at Gourock some meetings are held at locations across the ferry services network in Scotland as well as on occasions in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Closing date for receipt of applications is 25 October 2019

An application pack and full details on this and other public appointments can be found via the link below.  

For further information about the body and the role, please contact Duncan Mackinson at duncan.mackison@davidmacbrayne.co.uk.  You can also find out more about DML at www.david-macbrayne.co.uk.

Accessibility to public appointments is a fundamental requirement and the public appointments process promotes, demonstrates and upholds equality of opportunity for all applicants.  The Scottish Government will always give consideration to disability-related reasonable adjustments that an applicant might request to enable them to demonstrate their merit and participate fully in the selection process.  If you require any of the application pack documentation in an alternative format, please contact Public Appointments Team on (Freephone) 0300 244 1898 or at public.appointments@gov.scot.

Scottish Ministers particularly welcome applicants who come from groups currently under-represented on Scotland’s public bodies, such as women, disabled people, ethnic minorities and people aged under 50.  Please do complete our monitoring form when you apply as this helps us to ensure that the appointments process is accessible to everyone.

Appointed on merit; committed to diversity and equality

Application Information

Please apply online.  If you experience any difficulties accessing our website, or in the event that you require an accessible  version of the application form, please contact the Public Appointments Team on (Freephone) 0300 244 1898, by email at PA_Applications_Mailbox@gov.scot, or by writing to the Public Appointments Team, Scottish Government, Area 3F North, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ.

Additional Information

  1. Applicant Information Pack
  2. FAQs