'Lifelong boating enthusiast' Gregory Yeakle to replace Erwin Bamps as luxury boat-builder's new chief executive
Ajman's superyacht builder Gulf Craft has new man at the helm
UAE-based superyacht builder Gulf Craft, one of the world’s largest luxury ship builders, has appointed Gregory Yeakle to be the new chief executive, succeeding Erwin Bamps, who held the position for the past four years and has now moved on to a new role as adviser to the board for international matters.
“These are challenging yet exciting times for the industry. Innovation and technology are combining to provide amazing new products and services possible for Gulf Craft, said Mr Yeakle. "As a lifelong boating enthusiast, I am delighted to have the opportunity lead Gulf Craft into the next phase of its global expansion”.
Mr Yeakle has held senior leadership roles in companies such as Informix, Alexander Proudfoot Company and Invensys. He has worked globally in C-level positions successfully for during two decades in both business development and operations around the world. More recently, he was global head of the oil-and-gas division of Accudyne Industries, where he was managing director of Milton Roy and Dosatron, among others.
Before his latest appointment, Mr Yeakle was the head of operations for Cornerstone Management Consulting where he and his team worked with the Gulf Craft group. “This experience has helped to ensure a smooth leadership transition,” said the group’s chairman, Mohammed Al Shaali.
In March, The National reported that Gulf Craft sold five vessels for a total of Dh85 million at the Dubai International Boat Show that ended on March 3, and said sales will probably pick up in coming months.
"Despite the challenges brought upon by new regulations and taxes that were implemented on the manufacturing industry, Gulf Craft has managed to create its own space to grow by delivering unprecedented quality," said Notis Menelaou, vice president of sales at the company. "We not only continue to invest greatly in research and development, but also gain a lot from our 36 years of experience. Every time we move in a new direction, we keep our customer's requirements at the forefront. This... helps us to develop premium crafts that are trendsetting."
The privately owned company has its headquarters in Ajman, with four boatyards spread across the UAE. The company is celebrating its 36th year with a 175-foot mega-yacht in the pipeline and a 200-foot vessel due in about three years.
“Building yachts in excess of 200 feet is a totally different manufacturing process,” Mr Bamps told The National at last year's boat show.
Founded in the Emirates in 1982, Gulf Craft offers wide variety of premium craft, ranging from 27 feet to 175 feet in length.
With an expanding portfolio that includes the Majesty Yachts, the long-range Nomad Yachts, Silvercraft fishing boats and family cruisers, and Oryx sport yachts and cruisers, Gulf Craft has built an international reputation as among the world's best.