Meet JFD's Senior Leadership Team who head up the departments across the company.



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Managing Director

Giovanni Corbetta

Gio took on the role of Managing Director in August 2015. Gio is based at the Westhill office in Aberdeen. Despite the downturn and subsequent challenges this has brought to the industry, Gio has continued to successfully drive forwards JFD’s growth and development.

Gio is a chartered aeronautical engineer and started his career in the late 80s’ as an Air Force Officer in the Engineering Corp looking after the Tornado aircraft. Following a short spell as one of the designers for the Typhoon aircraft engine he decided that the subsea world was more interesting than air. He became a Subsea Robotics Engineer and enjoyed few years designing systems and tools for use at great depths, where he earned the company two international patents, one of which is still utilised.

Following three years in Norway, he moved to Aberdeen in 1996. Gio held a number of different roles, all in the subsea contracting world: Proposals Manager, Project Manager, Engineering Manager, Operations Manager, Projects Director, Divisional Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa and finally Managing Director for two different subsea contracting companies before joining JFD.


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Business Execution Director

Ben Sharples

JFD undertakes a wide variety of large scale commercial and defence projects and services. Managing the project effectively through its life cycle from acquisition to completion is essential to ensure JFD can deliver the high quality service for which it is renowned, on time and on budget, as Business Execution Director this is Ben’s role. 

Ben joined Rumic in 1996 which was later bought by James Fisher. He was part of the offshore maintenance and operations team as Design Lead for the LR5 Submarine Rescue vehicle when it was upgraded in 2000 and Project Manager for the development of what has become the current Australian Submarine Rescue System. In 2004, Ben moved to Barrow to work for the James Fisher Group where he helped set up James Fisher Defence and won the Korean and Singaporean Rescue System contracts.

He became Managing Director of James Fisher Defence in 2012 and during his time within this position increased the business’s turnover from £1.2m per annum to £22m as the company became established in Sweden, Korea, Australia and Singapore.

Ben has been a member of the SLT since JFD’s formation in 2013 serving as Strategy Development and Implementation Director, India Project Director and now Business Execution Director.

“I’ve been at JFD for nearly 20 years primarily because I learn something new every day, I enjoy the rich mix of customers, working practices, environments and technology that our global business brings and I’m supported by a great team”


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Business Execution Director

Chris Blake

Chris joined JFD in 2017 and has begun by initially focussing on Asia Pacific commercial delivery, transitioning to defence and India post-delivery of the first system and will take over responsibility for the management of the second system delivery.

He has over 30 years’ experience in oil & gas, nuclear and civil engineering industries with a proven track record of running teams involved in multi project and programme management activities, organisational design and business process development.  

Chris was, until recently, Project Operations Manager for both the Harkand Group and Neptune, where he was responsible for running all projects and offshore operational campaigns, prior to this he was Asset Development Manager for Subsea 7. 



Finance Director

Sarah Caldwell

Sarah joined the business in 2018 as Finance Director. She has over 20 years’ experience in senior financial management.

Previously Sarah worked for the Weir Group PLC primarily in the Minerals Division with Finance Director roles in the US and Europe & North Africa; as well as a Group role as global Head of internal Audit. 

Formerly she worked in public practice specialising in audit, risk assurance and consulting with clients in public and private sector markets.


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Products & Support Director

Danny Gray

Danny is responsible for the Delivery of all JFD Products and Support to our customers, ensuring compliance, safety and quality is delivered throughout our Global product and Service capability, including NHC. JFD also offers an ongoing Product support service to both Commercial and Military customers providing resource and Management throughout the product’s lifecycle, providing a responsive and cost effective global maintenance solution.  

Danny started his career as an Apprentice Mechanic and began working within the diving industry in 1982 with Oceaneering he then joined Gas Services Offshore (which became Divex) as a Technician in 1985. During the past 30 years within the company Danny has predominately worked within the production environment enjoying roles of Workshop Manager and Production & General Manager. In addition, he has also managed a number of support functions including Product Engineering, Business Systems and HR.

Following the recent expansion of JFD, Danny’s remit has expanded rapidly with the addition of many new products and services, making Danny a very busy man. Danny is apprehensive when receiving orders from Doug, which this year has included the manufacture of one of the deepest Saturation Diving System in the world -  posing many a challenge for him and his team!


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Business Acquisition Director

Valerio Percoco

Maintaining and developing a strong global presence and promoting the variety of products and services JFD can offer is core to the Business Acquisition department’s focus. Within the past year this department has travelled extensively in order to support its customers and promote JFD’s continuously enhancing capability as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for a variety of subsea requirements.

Valerio is a chartered Mechanical Engineer and MBA, and has lived in the UK for over 12 years – he is a native Italian. He has covered many directorship roles in multiple countries including 3 years in China. His experience is diverse having worked in food, import/export, telecommunications, superconductivity and the Oil and Gas industries.

Valerio is a pragmatic, evidence based and numerical professional who has a rational approach to management but also has a warm and personable touch.

Valerio joined JFD at the end of 2015 as part of the SLT leading the Bids, Marketing and Sales activities, and since hasn’t had a moments rest as Ben is ever ready and waiting, pushing him to take in as many new and exciting projects as he can!



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Business Operations Director

John Paul McCarroll

Responsible for the provision and delivery of all internal functions, John Paul ensures JFD works efficiently and effectively in order to maintain high quality standards and resources.

A qualified chartered accountant, John Paul spent his formative years working in public practice specialising in accounting, auditing, taxation and corporate finance. He joined James Fisher Defence in 2010 as Finance and Commercial Director.

Following the merger in 2013, John Paul took on the role of Commercial Director which has subsequently transitioned into Business Operations Director.