NOL picks former Schenker boss Held to replace Lim
Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines, parent company of APL and APL Logistics, has ended its four-month global search for a replacement for David Lim by appointing Thomas Held as its group president and chief executive officer.
Held, a German national, was chairman and CEO of Schenker, the international freight forwarding arm of the Deutsche Bahn group, until his resignation in January. He will start his new role at NOL Nov. 1, when he will also be appointed a member of the board of directors.
“I believe my record demonstrates my commitment to creating value for shareholders. The management team and I will aim to achieve this by taking full advantage of the NOL Group’s strong balance sheet, and its talented and committed people,” Held said.
“The NOL board considers Thomas Held to be one of the world’s outstanding transportation industry leaders and we are delighted to have an executive of his stature joining our company as CEO,” said NOL Chairman Cheng Wai Keung. “Held’s proven track record in building organizations and ability to execute strategy will be invaluable as NOL moves to implement its plans for the future, and take advantage of market opportunities.
“His strategic guidance will be invaluable as we move to implement our strategy to build a liner shipping business which is differentiated from competitors, while developing our logistics business in a focused manner,” Cheng said.
Lim’s departure was announced in June at a time when the company’s share price was at its lowest for three years, and was thought to have been partly triggered by dwindling market share at its ocean shipping unit APL, which made relatively limited investment in new ships and missed out on the round of acquisitions in 2005.
Lim will leave the company Oct. 31, but has made himself available as Held’s assistant for two months.
Another person leaving NOL is its Chief Financial Officer Patricia Leung, whose resignation is effective Dec. 31.
“Patricia Leung has decided to pursue a career change, and proposes to take a well-earned break before resuming her career,” Cheng said.
Cedric Foo, group deputy president, will assume the responsibilities of CFO after Leung’s departure.