The Plymouth-based yard has paid tribute to its outgoing managing director, who spent 30 years at the helm of Princess Yachts

Princess Yachts has announced that one of the most influential figures in its history Chris Gates has stepped down as managing director.

However, after 30 years in his role, Gates is not leaving the company and will stay on as a special advisor to the executive chairman, ensuring that his expertise will remain a valuable part of Princess.

The news comes shortly after Princess announced impressive financial results, with profits, employment figures and yacht sales all at record highs.

In a statement, Anthony Sheriff, executive chairman and CEO of Princess, said: “Chris’s contribution to our company’s success is immeasurable and it is fitting that Chris’s last year as MD has been the most successful in our company’s history. We are grateful to retain Chris’s enormous experience within Princess in his new role.”

Meanwhile, Princess has confirmed that Matt Pears has been appointed as chief operating officer and will join the executive team with a remit to oversee the yard’s manufacturing, supply chain and quality operations.