MANAGEMENT SHAKE-UP CONTINUES AT APL
Two senior executives of APL, the liner shipping arm of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines, are stepping down as part of the carrier’s continuing management shake-up.
To reduce costs and speed up decision-making, APL will now have “a flatter organization” and has eliminated the position of chief operating officer previously held by Ed Aldridge. Aldridge, who had joined APL from Sea-Land Service several years ago, is leaving the company.
APL also announced that it will cut the number of regional organizations from six to four, and that the current head of APL Asia, Ken Soerensen, is leaving APL. Soerensen was a former Maersk Line executive, hired several years ago by Flemming Jacobs. Neptune Orient Lines said that Soerensen is returning to Europe for personal reasons.
The departures of Aldridge and Soerensen follows the announcement in early January that Jacobs had stepped down as group president and chief executive officer of Neptune Orient Lines and as CEO of APL.
The four reorganized regions of APL are the Americas, Asia, China, Europe. The former Latin America and North America will be merged into a combined Americas region, managed by Bill Hamlin, the current APL North America head.
Neptune Orient Lines said that its board’s executive committee had been working closely with Ron Widdows, acting CEO of APL, “to develop an organizational structure for the liner company to help it achieve the goal of sustained profitability.”
“As part of the implementation of our strategy to pursue rate recovery globally, the trades will be separate from the regions and will work together towards clear revenue targets,” said Cheng Wai Keung, chairman of NOL. Previously, responsibility for the trades came under each of the regional organizations.
APL’s top priorities are cost containment and yield management, the carrier said.
The carrier aims to improve operating results by $150-200 million this year, with cost cuts expected to be the major contributor.