Maersk appoints Clerc as CEO

Maersk appoints Clerc as CEO
Vincent Clerc takes over as A. P. Møller - Mærsk CEO from Soren Skou, who is retiring. Photo from Maersk.
  • Vincent Clerc, who heads Maersk’s Ocean & Logistics business, will take over as the group’s new chief executive effective January 1, 2023, as CEO Soren Skou goes into retirement
  • Skou, 58, is stepping down after nearly seven years of steering Maersk through its transformation from a diversified conglomerate to an integrated, customer-centric end-to-end logistics company
  • The Maersk board considers Clerc as the right man to steer the group as the strong tailwinds that propelled the industry during the pandemic are coming to an end

A.P. Moller-Maersk appointed Vincent Clerc as its new chief executive effective January 1, 2023, succeeding Soren Skou, who, at age 58, is retiring after nearly four decades with the group and being its CEO since 2016.

Skou will hand the baton to Clerc after leading Maersk through rapid growth as the group  “redefines itself as a customer-centric end-to-end logistics provider” while its core container shipping business sails through turbulence amid sliding freight rates ahead of a looming global recession.

Clerc, a 50-year-old company veteran who is currently CEO of Maersk’s Ocean & Logistics business, has been described by the board as having the right experience and capabilities to pursue and oversee Maersk’s strategic and organizational development.

Skou, in a press statement, said he leaves Maersk with gratitude and pride.

“For almost seven years I have worked together with my team to change the business model, the culture, the digital backbone, and the results to make Maersk a profitable growth company again,” said Skou, citing those changes as the mandate he got as CEO in 2016.

He said now is the right time to make this transition as Maersk has executed very well over the past years.

“We have never been stronger financially and we have an inspiring and visionary plan for the continuation of our global integrator strategy that will guide Maersk for many years to come,” Skou said.

Board chairman Robert M. Uggla said Skou has contributed to Maersk’s development over almost 40 years, of which he was CEO of Maersk Tankers for 11 years, CEO of Maersk Line for four years, and close to seven years as CEO for Maersk.

“During his tenure as CEO of Maersk, Soren has been instrumental in redefining Maersk into a customer centric end-to-end logistics provider with a global leadership position in sustainable transportation solutions,” Uggla said.

Clerc will be moving from his post as CEO of Maersk Ocean & Logistics, which contributes a significant part of the company’s invested capital and results.

Uggla said that Clerc had been “a pivotal leader for Maersk’s transformation, demonstrating great strategic acumen, an ability to execute complex plans and deliver long-term shareholder value through compelling customer solutions.

“The strong tailwinds that benefited the supply chain industries during the pandemic are coming to an end. With an increasingly challenging outlook, the board believes Vincent holds the right experience and capabilities as CEO to pursue and oversee Maersk’s strategic and organizational development in the years to come,” Uggla said.

Clerc acknowledges the many challenges through which he will steer the group.

“On the heels of a pandemic, and now with the war in Ukraine and an energy crisis upon us, there are many tough challenges ahead; challenges that impact us all and where Maersk can make a difference,” Clerc said.

He said companies are rethinking their supply chains in this new environment, looking for more stability and more support on their decarbonization journey.

“This represents an incredible business opportunity for Maersk that we all are eager to seize. It will demand of us that we stay the course on our strategy, delivering on our digitalization and decarbonization roadmaps, while keeping a sharper than ever eye on our operational excellence and performance.”

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