Maersk CEO Soren Skou is set to retire, leaving after nearly 40 years with the company and serving as its chief since 2016.
Replacing Skou as CEO is Vincent Clerc, who currently is chief executive of Maersk’s ocean and logistics business, according to a company release. Clerk is set to take over Jan. 1.
Skou started at the Danish shipping giant in 1983 as a charterer. Over the next decade he worked his way up to operations manager, department head and head of crude and product. In 2001, he took over as CEO of Maersk Tankers and in 2012 as chief of Maersk Line, before taking on the role of company CEO.
Board chair Robert Uggla said in the announcement that Skou has been “instrumental in redefining Maersk into a customer centric end-to-end logistics provider with a global leadership position in sustainable transportation.”
Skou leaves after a record year, with annual revenue up more than 55% over 2020 and profits increased by sixfold — most of that growth due to unprecedented tightness in the market last year.
As head of Maersk’ ocean and logistics division, Clerc has overseen the company’s two largest businesses in terms of revenue and profit.
Uggla acknowledged that the “strong tail winds that benefited the supply chain industries during the pandemic are coming to an end.” He noted, however, that Clerk has “the right experience and capabilities as CEO to pursue and oversee Maersk’s strategic and organizational development” against a challenging outlook and the years ahead.