AP Møller-Maersk has changed its chief executive as the world’s second largest container shipping company faces an “increasingly difficult outlook”.
58-year-old Søren Skou, who has been a Maersk veteran and chief executive for the past 7 years, will leave the company at the end of the year. He will be replaced by Vincent Clerc, head of the Danish Group’s Shipping and Logistics business.
Maersk Chairman Robert Uggla thanked Skou for its transformation from a sprawling conglomerate to a shipping and logistics group.
Maersk, one of the driving forces behind globalization, which transports one-fifth of the seas containers, is facing a slowdown in shipments after a two-year boom, and plans to implement measures such as making its ships zero-emissions. We are facing long-term challenges. Skou is also expanding Maersk’s logistics business to balance its dominant container shipping sector.
In 1997 he joined Maersk. He is a 50-year-old Swiss national. In its 118-year history, he is the first non-Danish to lead Maersk and the sixth CEO ever.
He highlighted how companies are “rethinking their supply chains,” which represents an “incredible business opportunity” for Maersk to help with stability and decarbonization.
Maersk is recognized by experts as a leader in the container shipping industry for green fuels to power ships for decades to come.
Maersk shares, which have fallen nearly 40% this year, fell 3% on Monday morning news as investors worried about a slowdown in container shipping after it nearly quintupled during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Citi analysts said they do not expect Clerc to make “substantial changes” to Maersk’s strategy of becoming a one-stop shop for corporate logistics.
Shipping Research Group’s Drewry estimates that the container shipping group was as profitable from his 2020 to his 2022 as the industry has been for the past 60 years.
Maersk paid higher dividends and buybacks, bought several logistics companies, and ordered 12 vessels that could use environmentally friendly methanol.