China Cosco Group named Ma Zehua, vice president at rival China Shipping Group, as CEO, succeeding Wei Jiafu, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
Reuters reported that Wei, 61, will become chairman.
"This is a role change for Capt. Wei," Reuters quoted an unidentified Cosco official as saying. "The action has nothing to do with his capabilities or his business performance, but because of his age. This is normal for state-owned enterprises."
Cosco Group on Tuesday approved the creation of a board of directors, something already in place at a handful of other Chinese state-owned enterprises.
Cosco Group’s Hong Kong-listed China Cosco Holdings warned this month it would likely post a net loss in the first half of this year due to falling freight rates and high oil prices.
Meanwhile some Baltic Exchange members have “raised concerns” over allegations that China Cosco Holdings failed to make charter payments for bulk carriers it hired. Those concerns be reviewed by the exchange’s membership committee when it meets in the next several weeks, Baltic CEO Jeremy Penn told Bloomberg.
Cosco, the world’s third-biggest owner of dry bulk commodities vessels, had at least three ships arrested in the past two months as owners sought late charter payments, according to legal filings in the U.S. and Singapore. In each case, Cosco was locked into long-term contracts at rates higher than market prices.