Gerry Wang, the charismatic co-founder, co-chair and CEO of Vancouver-based containership owner Seaspan Corporation, is to retire at the end of the year.

For 20 years, the often-outspoken Mr Wang has been a driving force behind Seaspan’s development into the world’s largest non-operating boxship owner.

However, the ‘watertight’ business model of buying container vessels to charter to blue-chip ocean carriers at fixed rates, backed by long-term charter parties, was dealt a body blow with the default of Hanjin Shipping in 2016. Mr Wang famously described it as liner shipping’s “Lehman moment”.

In an investor note ahead of its Q2 results today, Seaspan said Mr Wang “will retire…to focus on family business investments and his ongoing charitable efforts”.

Seaspan had earlier said it was still in negotiations with Mr Wang regarding a new employment agreement.

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