Public appointment: Chair and Non-Executive Director appointed to the Caledonian Maritime Assets Board

Public appointments news release

The Minister for Transport, Jenny Gilruth MSP, today announced the appointment of Morag McNeill as Chair of the Board of Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL). The Minister also appointed Murdo Maclennan as a Non-Executive Director of the CMAL Board.


Morag McNeill was a corporate lawyer for over 25 years before becoming General Counsel at Forth Ports plc from 2005 until 2012. She has a wide knowledge of ports, harbours, and ferries as well as corporate governance and risk management having served as Vice Chair of the Port of Aberdeen Board. Other roles held include Deputy Chair at Heriot-Watt University, Vice-Chair at Social Investment Scotland, and a board member at the Scottish Event Campus Limited.

Non-Executive Director

Murdo Maclennan is an islander based in Point outside Stornoway and is an active crofter in both Lewis and Harris. He has served Bòrd Slàinte Nan Eilean Siar in both executive and non-executive roles, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the Crofters Commission and was elected to the successor body the Crofting Commission as a Commissioner. Mr Maclennan brings a wealth of experience with a special interest in the areas of board accountability, governance, audit and finance, and public procurement having chaired key committees in these areas on the Boards listed. He also holds a current charitable sector position as vice chair of Bethesda Home and Hospice, Stornoway.


The appointments are for three years and run from 1 October 2022 until 30 September 2025.

The appointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.

Remuneration and time commitment

The Chair of the CMAL Board receives £373.90 per day for a time commitment of 1.5 days per week. Non-Executive Directors receive £332.90 per day for a time commitment of 3 days per month.

Other ministerial appointments

Morag McNeill and Murdo Maclennan do not hold any other public appointments.

Political activity

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.

Morag McNeill and Murdo Maclennan have had no political activity within the last five years.


CMAL owns ferries, ports and harbours and infrastructure necessary for vital ferry services serving the west coast of Scotland and the Clyde Estuary, and the Northern Isles. They are wholly owned by the Scottish Government with Scottish Ministers the sole shareholders.

The CMAL Board has an executive management team and supporting staff at headquarters in Port Glasgow. They aim to provide safe, efficient, and cost-effective  ferries, harbours and port infrastructure for operators, communities, and users in and around Scotland, this includes:

  • maintaining, improving, and enhancing assets such as vessels and the land and property around piers and harbours within its ownership;

  • delivering a programme of investment in new ferries and shore-side infrastructure;

  • planning and working to develop an investment plan and making a real difference for people and businesses using these lifeline services;

  • working with stakeholders within Scotland and the wider maritime community to be acknowledged as the principal provider of the most cost-effective yet innovative ferries and port infrastructure to the benefit of the communities they serve.

CMAL was formed as a new corporate entity in 2006 and has a proud and long-standing heritage as part of Scotland’s maritime history. It owns assets which are currently deployed on the Clyde and Hebrides and Northern Isles ferry networks.

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