Eivind Kolding, the architect of Maersk Line's ambitious effort to expand the reach and influence of the world's largest ocean container carrier, announced his resignation as CEO on Monday to head Danske Bank, Denmark's biggest bank. Maersk Line parent A.P. Moller-Maersk named Soren Skou, CEO for the last 10 years of Maersk Tankers, to replace Kolding.
Skou, 47, will take up his new role at the Copenhagen-based carrier on Jan. 16. He held various positions at Maersk Line in Copenhagen, New York and Beijing from 1983 to 1998.
Kolding, 52, who joined A.P. Moller-Maersk in 1989 and became its chief financial officer in 1998, had been CEO of the carrier in 2006. A.P. Moller-Maersk is Danske Bank’s biggest shareholder with a stake of almost 23 percent.
Kolding has steered the container line through a historic downturn in shipping while using the deep resources and financial strength of the Danish business to extend Maersk Line's push for larger, more efficient ships, including 20 "EEE-class" vessels each with 18,000 20-foot-equivalent unit capacity ordered this year. He followed that order with a 'Maersk Manifesto" early this year and a "Daily Maersk" service that seek to change some of the operating fundamentals of the global shipping industry.
“Under Eivind Kolding’s skilled leadership, Maersk Line has undergone an impressive turnaround. Its competitiveness has improved significantly and at the same time Maersk Line has set new standards for the industry with regards to environment and reliability,” said Nils Andersen, CEO of A.P. Moller-Maersk.
“Furthermore, Maersk Line has gotten a much strong focus on the customers.”
Andersen said Skou knows container shipping “very well,” both from his time working for Maersk Line and his membership of A.P. Moller-Maersk’s executive board, which had kept him in “close touch” with the carrier and the industry.
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