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13 June, 2018 - 12:15 By Kate Sweeney

Eddie Jordan welcomed aboard by Oyster Yachts

Formula 1 motor racing figurehead Eddie Jordan is one of four high profile recruits to the board of born-again Norfolk yacht builder Oyster Yachts.

He joins Ashley Highfield, Ivan Ritossa and Rob Humphreys as new non-executive directors; Becky Bridgen has been appointed CFO and also joins the board alongside CEO Richard Hadida who has bankrolled the company’s bounceback from administration in March.

Hadida said: “We are committed to building the best possible team here at Oyster which we believe will put us in the strongest position to deliver an effective turnaround and get Oyster back to where it should be – the absolute pinnacle in yacht design.

“Getting the right leadership, oversight and governance in place is key to building a sustainable business. These appointments fit perfectly. They bring extensive industry expertise and corporate experience. Most importantly, all board members are a great cultural fit. Their passion for sailing and the Oyster brand is clear. 

“Eddie Jordan is a well-known Oyster owner already while Rob Humphrey’s deep connection to Oyster stretches back many years. Becky Bridgen has bought huge insight to the team as we begin the turnaround.”

Ashley Highfield has been a board member for a number of blue chip companies and institutions, including CEO of Johnston Press, a non-executive director at William Hill for nine years and Governor of the British Film Institute. His previous roles include managing director of Microsoft’s UK operations, and director of new media & technology of the BBC, where he was responsible for launching the iPlayer. 

Eddie Jordan has decades of experience in motor racing and Formula 1, in particular his role as founder and CEO of Jordan Grand Prix. He is a long-time Oyster owner having circumnavigated the globe on his own Oyster 885 ‘Lush’. 

Ivan Ritossa has worked for over 30 years in investment banking and has been successful in building numerous diverse and global businesses over this period. At Barclays Capital, Ivan was an executive committee member, MD and head of Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East and Africa across all units of the investment bank.

Rob Humphreys is recognised as one of the word’s leading yacht designers. He founded Humphreys Yacht Design in 1972 and developed the company from its racing yacht roots into one of the leading international design studios. 

He has been responsible for designing over 20 Oyster models, including the 118, 575 and flagship 885, over the last 22 years and has had a large role in helping to establish Oyster as the premium yacht manufacturer in the world.

Becky Bridgen has been acting CFO since the change in ownership. She will now take the role on permanently having joined Oyster following a successful career with PwC.

Her most recent experience has been as part of the deals team, providing financial advice to FTSE 100 companies and private businesses – including many associated with the marine industry.

Oyster has already restarted production at both its Wroxham site in Norfolk and its base in Southampton.

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Eddie Jordan

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