A new shape for Southern Wind’s future: Willy Persico passes the helm to a group of shareholders and his trusted team of managers
Willy Persico’ s untimely death caught his family, friends, partners and employees by surprise, but SWS’s founder and CEO left the shipyard well prepared for the future.
Thanks to his diligent mind, his passion, commitment and foresight, Persico charted the route for a smooth transition of the shipyard by preparing the already existing management team for new responsibilities and selecting partners and shareholders who could guarantee the successful continuation of the shipyard that he was so devoted to.
Southern Wind will now be run by the tightly knit team of his trusted SWS managers, who are also shareholders, with the fundamental backing and support of three SWS owners.
Willy Persico left an interview in the occasion of the SWS 25th anniversary, that already outlined his plans for his shipyard’s future:
“The shipyard, during its 25 years of activity, has invested significant resources in the selection and growth of management to create a strong, skilled and harmonious team which is now bearing fruit. Companies are made by people; at the Shipyard in Cape Town as well as at the offices of Pegaso in Genoa, I have my ‘pillars’ and I can count on their experience and advice from design to building and from marketing to customer care. In the future my team of managers will become the leader of the company to continue my way to build boats, or, maybe, their way to build boats.”
THE MANAGEMENT TEAM SHAREHOLDERS
Marco Alberti has been at SWS since 1994 and became General Manager 15 years ago. His heartfelt words express his sadness for Persico’ s sudden death and his gratitude for having worked with such an inspirational CEO. “Coming to terms with Willy’s death is a challenge for us. But he was an excellent tactician who has left us an example of passion and tenacity and a well-charted course to follow.”
Andrea Micheli, who has worked with Persico since 2003 and became Pegaso Sales Manager in 2008 echoes Alberti’s words: “Southern Wind will continue to do what it does best and in the best possible way. We are honoured to take on Willy’s legacy and will continue to walk in his footsteps, moving with renewed commitment and energy towards our goals.”
Alberto Del Cinque and Giampaolo Spera will flank Alberti and Micheli. Del Cinque began working at Pegaso in 1994 then became General Affair Manager in Southern Wind in 2000, and Spera has added on to two decades of experience as an executive in the nautical sector becoming Director of Southern Wind about two years ago.
THE OWNER SHAREHOLDERS
The supporting group of shareholders is made of 3 passionate, faithful and committed owners, all of whom can be considered “paid-up subscriber” of Southern Wind values and philosophy. Among them, Juan Ignacio Entrecanales, Executive Vice Chairman of the Acciona Group and three times Southern Wind owner. He has these words: “Our mission will not be to substitute Willy, but to make sure that his vision and heritage go on for years to come.”
The second shareholder/owner continues: “I have always considered SWS to be a family more than just a shipyard. It will be my pleasure and commitment to make sure that SWS continues to be a magnet for innovation, talent and positivity.”
The third one concludes: “We all have experience as entrepreneurs on an international level and we will put that pool of expertise to work for Southern Wind so that it can continue to build the same seaworthy, elegant and performing yachts that we know and love.”
While we will all sorely miss Willy Persico, the future of the shipyard he so lovingly and diligently built is sure to be in good hands thanks to his careful and thoughtful planning and we cannot help but say thank you to him.
Southern Wind Shipyards (PTY) Ltd