Mr Garrett is currently operations director at the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, the oldest continuously operating passenger shipping company in the world. He has worked at senior management and director level in the European ferry industry for over 25 years and previous employers include Sealink, Stena Line and Sea Containers.
Serco director Jamie Ross said: “Stuart is well qualified to lead NorthLink Ferries for Serco. He is well known and respected in the ferry sector and has a strong understanding of the dynamics of running island ferry services as well as an understanding of Northern Isles communities.
“We are absolutely delighted that Stuart is joining us and believe he is the ideal candidate to deliver our plans for the next six years, which will build on the strengths of the current NorthLink operation and introduce a variety of improvements to the services.”
Mr Garrett, said to be “a regular on the islands due to his wife’s Orkney and Shetland heritage”, intends to base himself in Aberdeen and lead a management team based across the Serco NorthLink Ferries network. He will be in position for the start of the contract.
He said: “Having worked in the ferry industry for many years and spent a significant amount of time in the Northern Isles, I look forward to ongoing engagement with the local community as we make some exciting enhancements to this vital lifeline ferry service.
“The safety, quality and reliability of the service we offer to local communities is what will drive me. This is a lifeline service that needs to be delivered with care, but it is also set for growth in passengers and freight which is what Serco plans to do for the benefit of islanders, businesses, tourism and the government.”