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Sean Collins

Sean Collins

Chief Executive Officer, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers

Collins has been at the helm of Thames Clippers since the inception of the business in 1999. At that time they operated one boat with a capacity of just 62 that served three piers and employed two people. Today, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers has an annual turnover of over £36 million, and employs over 450 people. The business now operates 22 vessels, including two new hybrid boats launched in 2023 and 2024 and has a further new hybrid vessel under construction.

Uber Boat by Thames Clippers carries over 5 million people each year on the River Thames. As well as commuter and visitor services throughout London, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers also offers corporate hire and express services to and from The O2 and Central London.

Under Collins’ leadership, the business has attracted external investment including AEG who held a majority shareholding from 2006 to 2022 and most recently Northleaf Capital Partners who are committed to help drive the business growth with a focus on improving environmental sustainability. A commercial partnership was entered into with Uber in August 2020 for the naming rights to the brand.

With a keen focus on training and development, Collins has instilled a people-first vision at Uber Boat by Thames Clippers. The business has an in-house training academy and 76% of the Captains of Uber Boat by Thames Clippers vessels have worked their way up through the business. Uber Boat by Thames Clippers have a female population of 31%. By 2025 it is expected that Thames Clippers will have about 15% female captains, in a traditionally male-dominated industry.

Collins began his career aged 16 in 1984 when he was apprenticed to the Company of Watermen and Lighterman and is a third-generation Waterman. This includes serving as a Royal Waterman since 2008. During his career on the River Thames Collins has worked as a Captain on passenger vessels and tug boats. Collins has also been National Rowing Champion and represented Great Britain at an international level, including the World Rowing Championships.