Nils Smedegaard Andersen, Mærsk adm. dir.
Departing Maersk Group chief executive Nils Smedegaard Andersen

It’s all change at the top of the Maersk Group today, after Denmark’s largest conglomerate announced that Maersk Line chief executive Soren Skou is set to replace the group’s current chief executive Nils Andersen on 1 July.

Maersk Group chairman Michael Pram Rasmussen said: “Søren has strong business acumen and thorough knowledge of the group’s various businesses and has successfully restructured the businesses he has led. The board of directors knows Søren as a respected and knowledgeable leader with the ability to adapt quickly to market changes in close collaboration with the board of directors, the executive management and his employees.”

A statement from the company indicated that a further organisational shake-up could be on the way.

Soren Skou

Soren Skou

“The board of directors has tasked the new management to investigate the strategic and structural options to further increase agility and synergies. The board of directors will communicate on the progress before end of third quarter 2016,” It said.

Mr Andersen joined the board of directors on 2005 and was named chief executive in December 2007, dispensing of non-core activities and creating a leaner global conglomerate of five core businesses within shipping, logistics and energy.

“On behalf of the board I thank Nils Andersen for considerable results in fronting the group’s international growth, strengthening the customer focus and competitiveness of the businesses, as well as simplifying governance and increasing transparency and communication with our stakeholders,” Mr Rasmussen added.

Mr Andersen said: “I am proud of the results we as a team have achieved in the Maersk Group during my leadership and after eight years as chief executive of the group and 15 years as chief executive altogether, I find it is the right time for both me and AP Møller-Mærsk to make a change. Søren has all the qualities it takes to take the Group through to the next strategic step and I wish him and the whole management team all the best of luck.

“On a personal level I am at a point in my life where I look forward to having a bit more time with my family after many years of constant work and I look forward to entering a new phase in my life,” he said.

Mr Skou has been a Maersk employee since 1983 and member of the executive board of AP Møller-Mærsk since 2006. In 2012 he was appointed chief executive of Maersk Line and will continue in this role in addition to his new responsibilities group-wide.

“I am excited about the opportunity to lead A.P. Møller-Mærsk into the next phase of our strategic development. The fast-paced changes of this world demand that we can adapt quickly, easily and at a minimal cost while retaining the focus on each business unit. Our future set-up must effectively respond to these challenges,” he said.

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