AP Moller-Maersk mentioned on Monday that it had appointed a firm veteran named Vincent Clerc as the new chief executive to spearhead the shipping giant via a phase of slowing container demands.
Clerc, now 50, is going to replace Soren Skou on 1 Jan, at a time of exponential growth for the shipping major, as it wants to establish a successful land-based logistics business while keeping a check on freight rates in core container shipping business activities plummet as a worldwide recession looms.
The strong tailwinds that benefited the supply chain industries in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are toward an end, Maersk’s Chair, Robert Maersk Uggla, reported at a press conference at the company’s headquarters in Copenhagen.
He said it is advantageous for the firm to have new energy in the CEO’s position, especially when turbulence is expected.
The change comes less than a year after Uggla, Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller’s grandson, the former head of Maersk who reportedly transformed the whole group into an international conglomerate, was elected as the board chair. Uggla also spearheads the holding firm that controls Maersk.
Shares in Maersk have nearly doubled since Skou took over as the CEO in 2016. Skou has overseen the group evolving into an integrated logistics major from a conglomerate, a procedure that included selling the oil and gas business to TotalEnergies, based in France, in 2017.
Clerc is currently the head of Maersk’s Ocean & Logistics business. He said he would focus on keeping costs down when Maersk buys warehouses and distribution centres to extend an end-to-end transportation service instead of container shipping.
Maersk shares have reportedly lost over 40% of their value since January 2022’s record high and had been trading 2.7% lower on Monday, underperforming the benchmark index of Copenhagen.
DNB analyst Jorgen Lian has expressed that the credit to today’s share price reaction is given to Soren Skou’s successful tenure. Still, the timing and firm’s communication on outlook can be described as gloomy.
Clerc is a Swiss citizen who was born in 1972. He joined Copenhagen-based Maersk in 1997 and has reportedly held multiple senior positions, including Chief Commercial Officer and Chief Trade and Marketing Officer.
Maersk is one of the most overworld’s resized shipping and logistics firms, tackling supply chains for customers like Walmart and Nike. It reportedly employs over 100,000 people across 130 countries.