Long-serving Hamburg Süd executive Poul Hestbaek will take the CEO reins from Dr. Arnt Vespermann, who will step down after more than 20 years at the German container shipping company.
Hestbaek has been with Hamburg Süd since 2004 and is currently the company’s CCO. The 59-year-old shipping-industry veteran has previously been responsible for the liner shipping company’s commercial business on several continents, including Latin America, Europe and Asia/Pacific.
Vespermann joined Hamburg Süd in 1999 as the head of its legal department and became the director of the tramp shipping subsidiary Rudolf A. Oetker KG in 2006. He has been a member of Hamburg Süd’s Management Board since 2009 and the company’s CEO since late 2017.
Hamburg Süd, acquired by Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk in 2017, said the leadership change will take place by end of the first quarter 2021.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Arnt Vespermann for his dedication and leadership. Arnt has played an instrumental role in ensuring the very successful integration of Hamburg Süd. In the year of the acquisition, Hamburg Süd even grew the volumes, which is a sign of the brand’s extremely high customer loyalty,” said Vincent Clerc, CEO Ocean and Logistics at A.P. Moller – Maersk.
“Poul Hestbaek represents continuity thanks to his many years with Hamburg Süd, and with his customer mindset he will lead the continued development and strengthening of Hamburg Süd within the family of Maersk brands. With this leadership transition we start a new chapter in Hamburg Süd’s journey as a highly respected brand in the marketplace,” Clerc said.
“We promised our customers that Hamburg Süd’s DNA would remain unchanged during the integration process, and that they would continue to enjoy the excellent service they are accustomed to from our teams at local level. We have kept that promise,” Vespermann said. “A.P. Moller-Maersk’s multi-brand strategy has been established on the global markets. Going forward, we will place an even stronger focus on implementing this strategy and strengthening our Hamburg Süd brand in terms of customer relations, such as in our Key Account Management efforts. Thus, now is the ideal time for me to relinquish the helm to Poul Hestbaek.”
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