Despite being just days away from departing Fred Olsen, after more than 30 years, outgoing managing director Mike Rodwell still has one job left to complete.
His speech for tonight’s company leaving dinner.
“Oh no, I haven’t started that yet,” he smiles, as I enquire as to its status. “All I know is, it’s going to be brief.”
It is this down-to-earth nature that seems to have typified Rodwell’s time at the company, which within his three decades, has steadily grown from a single-ship operation to a five-strong fleet across the oceans and rivers.
He has been at the helm for about half of that time, but by Rodwell’s own admission, he has never really courted the limelight.
“I don’t particular like that attention,” he tells me, sitting in his office at Fred Olsen’s Ipswich headquarters. “I’m not one of these bosses who likes to be front and centre all the time.”
Ironically, for a man whose career has been focused on ships, it was trains (and their unreliability) that fatefully brought him to Fred Olsen.