Maersk has appointed shipping veteran Vincent Clerc to the top job as outgoing boss Soren Skou stepped down after over six years at the company’s helm.
Chairman Robert M. Uggla said Clerc – who has led Maersk’s ocean and logistics branch since 2019 and will take over from Skou on 1 January – was the perfect person to guide the shipping giant amidst a turbulent period.
“The strong tailwinds that benefited the supply chain industries during the pandemic are coming to an end,” Uggla added.
“With an increasingly challenging outlook, the board believes Vincent holds the right experience and capabilities as chief executive to pursue and oversee Maersk’s strategic and organisational development in the years to come.”
The 50-year-old Clerc told journalists he will look to keep Maersk in line with its strategy, “delivering on our digitalisation and decarbonisation roadmaps, while keeping a sharper than ever eye” on keeping costs down.
“Companies are rethinking their supply chains in this new environment, they are looking for more stability, and more support on their decarbonisation journey,” he added.
“This represents an incredible business opportunity for Maersk that we are all eager to seize.”
The world’s largest shipping company, Maersk recently reported a 37 per cent increase in revenue as well as a 60 per cent hike in its EBITDA and EBIT.
Third quarter growth was mainly driven by the group’s strategic transformation as well as by peaking freight rates.
“However, it is clear that freight rates have peaked and started to normalise during the quarter, driven by both decreasing demand and easing of supply chain congestion,” said Skou in early November.
“As anticipated all year, earnings in Ocean will come down in the coming periods.”
Skou has been widely credited as the man behind Maersk’s transformation from a conglomerate into an integrated logistics company, as shares doubled during his tenure.
Nevertheless, stocks have lost around 40 per cent of their value since peaking in January.