Peel Ports Group has recruited Patrick Walters as group commercial director, replacing Dennis Henderson, who left the company last week.
Walters has 20 years' experience in the UK ports industry, and joined from consultancy Mimago, where he was director. He has also held senior positions in P&O Ports, DP World and Associated British Ports.
Mark Whitworth, chief executive of Peel Ports, said: "Securing Patrick Walters is a major coup for the company and he brings exceptional experience and credentials to Peel Ports. Patrick joins us at an exciting time.
"We are well advanced with our £300m investment programme, Liverpool2, which will enable the Port of Liverpool to handle post-Panamax containerships and we have similarly ambitious plans across our other ports and ancillary businesses.
"Patrick will assume direct responsibility for delivering our growth plans and for commercial negotiations, sales, property and business intelligence for the whole group. In the next few years we want to grow our core businesses, focusing on yield management and new commercial ventures and Patrick's stature and experience will be a tremendous asset."
Peel Ports Group owns seven ports around the UK and handles 70 million tonnes of cargo each year.