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American Shipper

NEWS FLASH: Maersk Group appoints new CEO

The A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, parent company of Danish liner carrier Maersk Line, has named Soren Skou as its new chief executive officer.

   The A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, parent company of leading liner carrier Maersk Line, has named Soren Skou as its new chief executive officer, the company said in a statement Thursday.
   Skou was previously CEO of Maersk Line, helping the world’s largest container line recover from the economic downturn with a focus on operational cost reduction and profitability.
   He takes over from Nils. S Andersen, who is stepping down after eight years helming the parent company. The Maersk Group has interests not only in container shipping, but in freight forwarding, container terminal operations, and oil and gas.
   Skou has been with the Maersk Group since 1983 and a member of the company’s executive board since 2006. He was appointed CEO of Maersk Line in 2012 and will remain in that position in addition to group CEO.
   “Søren has strong business acumen and thorough knowledge of the Group’s various businesses and has successfully restructured the businesses he has led,” Maersk Group Chairman Michael Pram Rasmussen said. “The Board of Directors knows Søren as a respected and knowledgeable leader with the ability to adapt quickly to market changes in close collaboration with the Board of Directors, the executive management and his employees.”
   Andersen largely oversaw a period of sizable profits due to Maersk Line’s prominent position in virtually all global trade lanes, while its oil and gas business acted as a hedge during times when fuel prices rose. On his watch, Maersk Line introduced a new guaranteed day container delivery service, Daily Maersk, linking key export ports in Asia with import ports in Europe. The service was eventually stopped when it became unprofitable due to a lack of interest from shippers in paying premium rates.
   Maersk Line also cemented a historic alliance partnership with its closest rival Mediterranean Shipping Co. after a larger alliance that included CMA CGM failed to satisfy antitrust regulators in China.
   “I am proud of the results we as a team have achieved in the Maersk Group during my leadership and after eight years as CEO of the group and 15 years as CEO altogether, I find it is the right time for both me and A.P. Møller – Mærsk to make a change,” Andersen said. “Søren has all the qualities it takes to take the Group through to the next strategic step.”
   In separate news involving Maersk, the 2M Alliance between the Danish shipping line and partner MSC said it is in talks with the troubled carrier Hyundai Merchant Marine to join the alliance.

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