Oyster Yachts has announced that the company’s founder, Richard Matthews, has accepted an invitation to join its board as non-executive director. This is a testament to Matthews’ faith in the future of the company that he founded almost 50 years ago, and the direction in which it is heading under the Richard Hadida’s ownership.
“It is hugely important to me personally that the founder of the brand I hold so close to my heart has given it his seal of approval by joining our board. Having restored the company to its former glory with the support of a fantastic team – from talented craftsmen to dedicated management – this feels like confirmation that Oyster is once again synonymous with quality and excellence, just as it was when Richard founded it back in 1973,” explains Richard Hadida.
Matthews founded Oyster in 1973, after which the business was owned by two private equity entities before being bought by Hadida in 2018. Matthews continues to be a keen yachtsman whose activities in 2019 included winning the East Coast Offshore Championship and participating in his 23rd Fastnet Race. He is a highly respected figure in the sailing community, and brings with him a wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge of the marine industry.
“One of the most amazing things about Oyster is the extended “family” of Oyster owners who share my passion for these beautiful yachts. Re-joining Oyster is like coming home. In Richard Hadida, Oyster now has an owner with the resources to take the business forward. Above all his infectious enthusiasm for the brand convinced me that Oyster has a truly exciting future and I look forward to once again being part of it,” comments Matthews.
SuperyachtNews spoke with Hadida in 2019 to find out exactly how he intended to return Oyster to its former glory. In no uncertain terms, Hadida explained that near enough every element of the Oyster brand has been evaluated and developed.
“Where do I start? There are challenges in every element of the business. We have bought the plant where the hulls are built and invested heavily in the whole facility, including new heating and air management systems. The facility is now state-of-the-art and we have partnered with Lloyd’s Register so every hull moulded will leave with an LR Mould Certificate,” explained Hadida. “We have two different yards where we are building the boats and we are constantly trying to improve efficiency, driving down the hours on the boats, while increasing the quality. There are countless aggregated savings to benefit from, whether it be reducing a particular task from 30 hours to 10 hours or another from 10 to five.
“The website, the documentation, the literature, the branding, the clothes that people wear…it’s hard to name a part of the business that we haven’t uncovered, looked inside and considered how we can improve it.”
That Matthews is stepping back into the Oyster fold is a huge compliment to Hadida and is an indication that his strategy and leadership, since taking over the business in 2018, has sealed the approval of the brand’s original creator.
According to The Superyacht Agency, Oyster Yachts currently has one 30m-plus vessel in build. Unit two of the 118 series is due for completion in 2021.