Duncan, 55, will take over from Gilpin Bradley on September 1, the SSPO said in a press release. Bradley, managing director of Wester Ross Fisheries, took on the role on a temporary basis two years ago.
The new chair is an experienced leader and non-executive director. Duncan was head of news and current affairs at BBC Scotland from 2007 to 2011 and is a non-executive director and former chairman of the British Horseracing Authority.
He is a qualified executive coach who works with senior leaders in businesses in the UK, Middle East, Europe and USA. Between 2011 and 2018, he was the UK and global executive director for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS).
Duncan said it was great privilege to work with the salmon farming sector.
He added: “The Scottish farmed salmon sector is world leading today and keen to play an even larger part in the economic development of Scotland in the future.
“But we fully appreciate the challenges of doing that in a way which is sympathetic to the communities we work in, while embracing the new regulatory and environmental standards being developed wherever the sector operates around the world.”
‘Dynamism and drive’
Bradley said the SSPO was delighted to have recruited Duncan.
“He will bring his undoubted qualities as a leader, his experience as a manager and his dynamism and drive to this successful Scottish farming sector.”
Chief executive Julie Hesketh-Laird said: “The SSPO was looking for someone with undoubted leadership skills, a passion for high performance as well as experience of international business and it has found all these qualities in Atholl Duncan.”
Among other interests, Duncan is chair of UK Coaching - the national body for sports coaches. He is a trustee of the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI) - which runs the Edinburgh International Film Festival; the Filmhouse in Edinburgh; and the Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen.
He was director of corporate affairs for Scottish Water from 2003 to 2007; a non-executive director of Sportscotland from 2001 to 2009; a former director of the Scottish Sports Council Trust – which runs three national sports centres, and a former trustee of the Hibernian FC Community Foundation.