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MarineMax founder retires from board, executive chairman role

  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 10:30 a.m. May 17, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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MarineMax founder and longtime boat industry entrepreneur Bill McGill Jr. has retired from his role as board director and executive chairman.

The Clearwater-based publicly traded recreational boat, yacht and superyacht retailer and services company announced the move in a Friday morning statement. The company made several other changes to the board, saying it is “part of its continued commitment to strong governance.” Officials added that McGill’s retirement was part of a planned board succession; 

Changes include: 

  • Rebecca White, a director since 2018 and the Walter Chair of Entrepreneurship, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Director of the John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center at the University of Tampa, was named chair of the board, effective June 30. 
  • Joseph Walters, a board director since 2005, has retired.
William McGill
Courtesy image

“On behalf of the Board and the entire company, I thank Bill and Joe for their contributions to the growth and success of MarineMax,” Lead Independent Director G. Clinton Moore says in the statement. “Over a career spanning more than 50 years, Bill has been a pioneer in our industry.”

McGill teamed up with a group of the country’s largest boat dealers in 1998 to create MarineMax. The goal, the company says on the history page on its website, was to “maximize the efficiency of operations while sharing best practices on everything from insurance to mobile boat service and allowing team members to focus on what’s important: getting customers out on the water.” McGill had been in the boat business for 25 years before then, starting with founding Gulfwind Marine in 1973. 

McGill was CEO of MarineMax from 1998 to 2017. His son, William Brett McGill, took over as president and CEO. Today the company (symbol HZO) has over 130 locations worldwide, including 83 dealerships and 66 marina and storage facilities. “It has been an honor and a pleasure to be part of the MarineMax team for more than 25 years,” the elder McGill says in the statement. “During that time, we’ve grown into the largest boat, yacht and superyacht services company while remaining focused on delivering exceptional customer service. I

Following the two board retirements, meanwhile, the group will be reduced to 10 directors. “I appreciate the Board’s confidence and look forward to working with my fellow directors and the management team in this new role,” White says in the statement. “The board changes announced today underscore our long-standing commitment to strong governance and I look forward to working with my fellow directors and the management team to guide MarineMax as it executes its strategy and capitalizes on opportunities to drive growth and profitability.”



Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon is the managing editor of the Business Observer. He has worked for the Business Observer since 2005. He previously worked for newspapers and magazines in upstate New York, suburban Philadelphia and Jacksonville.

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