Herbert Linn Pocklington
1927 - 2015
By Bill Baldwin
…a great friend of the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club.
"Herb," (Herbert L.) Pocklington, was a giant of a man as well as a true hero in every sense of the word. A prime example of American upward mobility, he was born in Algonac, Michigan, home town of the then-fledging Chris Smith and Sons Boat Co. He joined what had become Chris-Craft Corporation in 1942 as a 15-year-old, part-time, "gofer,” when the firm was moving from pleasure boats to military craft.
After serving two years in the U.S. Army, he rejoined the firm in 1946 as a factory worker, then served 17 years in a swift rise from employee to Buyer, PR Director, Advertising Manager, and Director of (Product) Planning.
In 1964 , following the 1960 sale of the Corporation to NAFI Industries, Herb was named by CEO Harry Coll as Chairman, President, and CEO of Chris-Craft SA—a profitable international marketing firm in Lausanne, Switzerland—as well as Chairman, President and CEO of Chris-Craft Italia, in Fiumicino, Italy—which became Italy's largest boat-builder.
In 1975, when new U.S. Chris-Craft management decided to pull back Swiss operating profits and bring the "benefits" of U.S. management to the Italian operation (and ultimately take it into default), Herb left to set up a successful, multi-company, international boat division for AMF. He retired in 1991 as President of Hatteras International to serve as Chairman of the INTERPLANA Consulting Group, where, at the behest of the U.S. Government, he helped train ex-Soviet and Iraqi firms in adapting to profit-oriented business cultures. While embedded with U.S. forces in Iraq, he was seriously injured by an I.E.D., wounds that troubled him for the remainder of his life.
Herb passed away during the late afternoon, yesterday, Saturday May 9. His absence can never be replaced, his greatness never, ever exceeded.
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