Peter Hebblethwaite: The chief executive who may have sunk his own ferry company

The CEO of P&O Ferries oversaw the sudden lay-off of 800 staff and immediate replacement with lower-paid ‘agency’ workers – and the backlash has been swift and harsh

Peter Hebblethwaite, chief executive, P&O. Illustration: Peter Hanan

If Peter Hebblethwaite sits down to reflect on how the past two weeks have gone for him, he may well conclude he is now almost certainly one of the most unpopular people in all of Britain.

Having had almost no public profile just a fortnight ago, the chief executive of P&O Ferries is at the centre of a bitter controversy after his company unceremoniously axed 800 employees on March 17 with plans to immediately replace ...