Coastguard Agency's new chief executive

Peter Cardy, a yachtsman, has been appointed chief executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

He succeeds John Astbury, who will step down from his acting chief executive role in May.

Mr Cardy’s appointment has caused a stir within the MCA, according to the shipping industry newspaper, Lloyd’s List.

Mr Cardy was until last year chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, one of Britain’s largest charities, with an annual income of £65m and a payroll of around 2,000.

He is also former head of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Motor Neurone Disease Association, after an early career in adult education.

He has served on a number of quangos, including NHS Modernisation Board and Pharmaceuticals Panel, as well as the Department of Health Patient Experience Board and the taskforce on medicines partnership.

Mr Cardy studied social theory and politics at University College, Durham, in the late 1960s.