BC Ferries parts ways with CEO Collins

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BC Ferries has released BC Ferries CEO Mark Collins from his contract as of today.

“The board decided to end Mr. Collins contract, which will entitle him to severance in accordance with the terms of his contract,” the ferry corporation stated in a Friday morning news release.

Collins had been with BC Ferries since 2004 and held numerous executive-level positions before being appointed CEO in 2017.

“We thank Mr. Collins for his hard work and dedication to BC Ferries. We wish him well in all future endeavours,” said new board chair Joy MacPhail.

“Like many organizations, BC Ferries has faced recent staffing shortages, service interruptions and COVID-related challenges. There are no quick fixes to these systemic challenges, but as a board we believe it is time for renewal, fresh ideas and a renewed commitment to the highest standards of customer service, safety and affordability,” said MacPhail.

Salt Spring Ferry Advisory Committee chair Harold Swierenga said that while he sensed some changes may have been in the offing due to signals about structural shifts at BC Ferries and changes in board membership, he was surprised by Friday’s announcement.

“I dealt with Mark a lot. I’m sorry to see him go.”

He noted that Collins had in-depth experience in various areas of BC Ferries and the transportation industry and had led the organization “under very difficult circumstances these last few years.”

The ferry corporation board has appointed current vice president and chief financial officer Jill Sharland as interim CEO.

Swierenga also knows Sharland and said he has every confidence in her.

“I have a lot of respect for her and I am sure she will do a very good job.”

BC Ferries said efforts to recruit a permanent CEO will soon be launched.

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