Boats Group chairman Ian Atkins is to step down from his operational responsibilities on January 31, 2018, remaining as an independent director of the Boats Group board.

Based in Miami, Florida, Boats Group is a global classifieds marketplace and marketing software solutions provider to marine brokers and dealers. Its brand portfolio includes Boat Trader, Yacht World, boats.com, Cosas De Barcos and Yacht Closer.

Atkins joined the Boats Group in 2000 when it was a San Francisco-based startup, initially developing the company’s operations outside North America where he successfully built key relationships and identified specific growth enablers throughout Europe.

Appointed VP and general manager of the global business shortly after its acquisition by Dominion Enterprises, Atkins developed and executed business strategies that further positioned YachtWorld as the leading portal and MLS for the yacht brokerage market.

In late 2009, Atkins led the consolidation of the leading marine brands – YachtWorld, Boat Trader and boats.com – into a single digital media entity, creating the Dominion Marine Media brand. In the difficult trading conditions that existed at the time, Atkins, together with VP of marketing, Courtney Chalmers, developed new sales, marketing and educational programs that focused on helping their industry partners optimise their online marketing strategies.

In 2016, Atkins led the company through the successful acquisition by Apax Partners and has since been engaged with the new executive team in planning the strategic direction of the business, as well as concentrating on positioning the Boats Group international business for accelerated growth.

Today Boats Group attracts over 65 million unique visitors annually to more than 300,000 unique boat and yacht listings.

"Ian is a respected leader and veteran in the recreational marine industry, and we are grateful for his leadership and contributions over the last 18 years," says Sam Fulton, Boats Group CEO. "During his tenure, Ian led the business in building strong relationships and further positioned the company as the leading classifieds marketplace for the marine industry, and we look forward to his continued contributions as an independent member of our board."