Maersk container unit names new CEO

Maersk container unit names new CEO

Sean S. Fitzgerald will be taking the helm of a newly profitable unit of the Maersk Group. Photo credit: Maersk

The container development and manufacturing arm of the Maersk Group named heavy manufacturing and management veteran Sean S. Fitzgerald as CEO Friday.

Fitzgerald, who is leaving his position as president of Japanese manufacturer Joy Global China in which he oversaw eight factories in China, will assume his role as CEO of Maersk Container Industry (MCI) starting Jan. 1, 2018.

“Having returned to profitability after some tough years, the company is facing a number of opportunities, but also many challenges in an industry more competitive than ever,” said Soren Toft, chairman of the MCI advisory board, in a statement.

MCI in the second quarter recorded a 161 percent increase in revenue to $285 million, as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization amounted to $28 million compared with a loss of $21 million in the second quarter of 2016.

MCI had struggled to remain competitive because of its higher costs, but Maersk said in its second quarter earnings release that it had narrowed the cost gap with its competitors, and “MCI is now industry competitive in both refrigerated and dry containers.”

Before rising to president of Joy Global China, Fitzgerald oversaw 13 factories in the Americas as regional vice president of Joy Mining Machinery, and before that held executive positions at General Electric over almost 10 years.

Fitzgerald, who holds a masters of business administration from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, has held various management, manufacturing, product management, and marketing positions over the last 20 years.

In his new role, Fitzgerald will lead MCI’s 5,000 employees at three container manufacturing sites in China and Chile as well as its research and development center in Denmark.