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Tributes paid to David Pridden, who has died aged 66

Written by  OE Staff Friday, 10 November 2017 03:32

Industry stalwart David Pridden (66) passed away last weekend following a battle with cancer.

Pridden became the inaugural CEO of industry trade group Subsea UK in 2004, several months after the organization was formed by Government and industry.

With a long and illustrious career in the oil and gas industry, Pridden was latterly chairman of Seanamic Group, chair of the trustees of the UK's National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth and a member of the Simmons Private Equity Investment Committee.  

Over the years, he held a variety of senior positions in both large and small subsea contractors, including launching and successfully growing his own business.

After studying mechanical engineering at Manchester's Salford University he went straight into the offshore industry, joining Y-ARD in Glasgow, then worked on the trailblazing Shell/Esso underwater manifold centre at Vickers Offshore. 

He worked for BP from 1977 for five years before moving back to the contracting sector for five years in Norway, latterly as managing director of Kongsberg Subsea Developments. 

At this point he took a big jump and, together with three others, launched front-end subsea designer Mentor Engineering Consultants. By 1992, Mentor had grown to a £10 million revenue group and was sold to McDermott. 

In 1997 he returned to Manchester and took up the role of chief executive of UMITEK which invested in consulting businesses to the energy sector. These included Capcis and Smith Rea. Pridden added TNEI and other renewables businesses to the stable before selling the oil and gas interests to Intertek and the renewables side to Petrofac in 2010.

Pridden was a founding director of Renews, which owns the eponymous electronic renewables newsletter. This was his second foray into the world of publishing having also been a partner in the company which owned Subsea Engineering News.

He was appointed chief executive of Subsea UK in June 2004, a position he held for five years. During this time, he spear-headed a campaign to raise the profile of the subsea industry, which included getting the word “subsea” into the dictionary.

Bill Edgar, chairman of Subsea UK, said: “I had the privilege to work with David in the early days of Subsea UK. He was passionate about the subsea industry and promoting the UK’s world-leading expertise in this field. The initial strategy and initiatives he rolled out at Subsea UK laid the foundations from which the organisation has grown to become the highly successful, self-sustaining one it is today. 

“He was also committed to promoting the industry to young people and had the ability to spot and employ competent young engineers into senior positions with identifiable management potential.

“He is a huge loss to our industry and will be sadly missed.“

 
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