Documents reveal reasons behind sacking of Ferguson Marine shipyard boss

The shipyard is responsible for the building of two massively delayed and over-budget CalMac ferries.

Documents reveal reasons behind sacking of Ferguson Marine shipyard boss David Tydeman STV News

Documents released by the Scottish Government have revealed the reasons behind why David Tydeman was sacked as the CEO of Ferguson Marine.

The former shipyard boss was dismissed by the board of the company in March but it was not known at the time why he was let go.

Ferguson Marine is responsible for the building of two massively delayed and over-budget CalMac ferries.

Before Tydeman was dismissed, he had told ministers that further delays were “likely”, something the Government said was “unacceptable”.

Under the latest estimates, the work to build the two ferries will be around triple the first price of £97m and they will be handed over to the operator six years late.

The Ferguson Marine shipyard in Port Glasgow is building two overbudget and delayed ferries.Getty Images

Tydeman served as the yard boss for two years and was said to be widely respected within the industry.

But documents released by the Scottish Government under a Freedom of Information request reveal that the board had lost confidence in Tydeman due to poor performance.

In a letter to then-first minister Humza Yousaf on March 18, about a week before Ferguson announced it had sacked Tydeman, civil servants said the yard boss had a “history of inaccurate forecasting” on when the two ferries would be delivered.

It said the board had been considering terminating Tydeman’s contract since at last February.

The letter said: “Chairman Andrew Miller has signalled to the [economy] cabinet secretary a loss of confidence by the board in the CEO due to a history of inaccurate forecasting, engagement of the CEO with parliamentary committees, including the Net Zero, Energy and Transport (NZET) Committee, where Mr Tydeman has given unsubstantiated and opinion-based evidence, contrary to the board’s instructions and leading to the committee questioning the accuracy of his evidence.

“Mr Tydeman has been in post since February 1, 2022 and his tenure has seen the most significant cost increases since nationalisation.

“Whilst the board are not seeking to implicate Mr Tydeman in these increases, it is clear that the accuracy of forecasting has been called into question.”

David Tydeman had previously run a yacht-building company before joining Ferguson Marine.Handout

Then economy secretary Mairi McAllan, who was CC’d into the letter, had come under pressure in March to explain Tydeman’s sacking but said it was a “matter for the board”.

Scottish Conservative shadow transport minister Graham Simpson said the situation was “ludicrous”.

He told STV News: “David Tydeman was known for his honesty and gave frank assessments of the shambles at Fergusons when he appeared before the NZET Committee.

“That honesty appears, as we suspected, to have got him the sack.

“SNP ministers who have dodged questions ever since his sacking need to urgently come clean if this new information is accurate.

“He has not been blamed for cost increases – these were in some ways inevitable – but for not being able to predict them. It is ludicrous, and I look forward to the board chairman explaining himself more fully in front of the committee as soon as possible.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The decision to terminate the contract of the former CEO was a decision for the Board of Ferguson Marine.”

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