Peterhead Port Authority's chief executive Iain Laidlaw has resigned from the post with immediate effect with former port chief John Wallace returning in the interim period.
PPA announced the shock resignation early this morning.
In a statement, the authority said: "The convenor and board of Peterhead Port Authority have received and accepted with immediate effect, the formal resignation of the chief executive, Mr Ian M Laidlaw.
"Mr Laidlaw has been with the port for 18 months and has overseen the £50 million, ongoing major development works to construct an enlarged fish market and deepen the inner harbours.
"He is leaving to pursue other business opportunities and the Members thank him for his contribution to the development while wishing him every success in the future."
As an interim measure, the board has secured the services of former PPA chief executive, John Wallace who presently serves on the board. It will be part of his remit to deliver PPA’s biggest strategic development to-date while setting in course a search to recruit a new chief executive early in the New Year.
Mr Wallace stated that the board members’ first priority is to ensure that the stakeholders and business community at the Port continue to receive the level and attention Europe’s leading fishing port and oil and gas base deserve.
Convenor, Gavin Thain, said that the board had moved as rapidly as possible upon receiving Mr Laidlaw’s resignation to fill this gap and are grateful to Mr Wallace for agreeing to step in, in the interim.
He was keen to point out that the measures he had undertaken would ensure a seamless transition with minimal disruption to PPA customers while longer-term measures were put in place.
In the meantime, Mr Thain said he was greatly encouraged by the progress of the present development, stating that it was on course for substantial completion by the end of April 2018, and thanks go to Mr Laidlaw for all his efforts towards this goal during his tenure.