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Chris Koch, the president and chief executive of the container shipping industry lobby body, the World Shipping Council (WSC), has announced his retirement from the position next year.

He has set a date of 31 July 31, with WSC senior vice president and general counsel John Butler set to replace him.  Despite his retirement, Mr. Koch will continue to support the WSC in a senior advisory capacity.

WSC board of directors’ chairman Ron Widdows said:  “During his 15 years of leadership, he helped the liner shipping industry build WSC into a respected advocacy organization that represents the industry effectively in Washington, in Brussels, at the International Maritime Organization and World Customs Organization, with other international and national government and industry bodies, and with the media.  The WSC Board is very grateful for his excellent service to the industry, and appreciates his desire to step down from the WSC presidency and enjoy retirement in the Sonoma Valley, California.”

Mr Koch said: “WSC has a staff of exceptional, talented, respected and knowledgeable people who can and will carry on the organisation’s work with expertise and effectiveness.  It has been a pleasure and an honor to work with them, with the WSC Board, and with the leadership of WSC member companies.  While the regulatory and governmental policy issues facing the industry will continue to be challenging, WSC under John Butler’s leadership will continue to meet those challenges.”

Mr Widdows added:  “The board is confident that John Butler will provide a seamless transition for the council’s continuing efforts on behalf of the liner shipping industry.  When he assumes the position of president next summer, John will have served as WSC’s general counsel for five years, and prior to that worked on liner shipping issues for 18 years at the renowned maritime law firm of Sher & Blackwell.  John has been deeply engaged in all the issues WSC is working on in addition to his broader expertise on a wide range of issues that could affect the industry.”

John Butler said he was excited about his new role and “I appreciate the Board’s confidence in my assuming the leadership of this fine organization”.


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