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Last Update Jul 25,2014

Northport's new CEO seeks customer retention to keep plans on track
MALAYSIA's Northport has appointed a new chief executive officer, Abi Sofian Abdul Hamid, 50, who says his first task will be to improve customer retention and ensure container capacity development schemes stay on track as well as making sure new quay cranes and rubber tyred gantries (RTG) arrive and are put to work.

"The main priority now is to ensure no disruption to business operations. Necessary enhancements and improvements which can add value will be implemented as the need arises," he told the Malaysia Star.

Mr Hamid replaced Hassan Abdul Kader, 59, who retired after 19 years at Northport, after his contract expired on March 31.

"I would like to thank Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, the chairman of NCB Holdings or the opportunity to take Northport to the next level of excellence," he said.

"I will also ensure Northport is the port of choice in nation building. Human capital development to complement capital infrastructure development will be the way forward to enhance the values and spirits of our team at Northport," said the new chief executive.

Northport and Kontena Nasional are wholly owned by NCB Holdings, which in turn is 55.9 per cent owned by Permodalan Nasional and 15.7 per cent by the regional container line MISC.

Northport hopes to lift 3.2 million TEU this year and is expected to increase its capacity to 5.5 million TEU from the current five million a year once it completes the development of wharf 8A that would eventually be operated as CT4.


OOCL names chief operating officer Andy Tung as new CEO from July 1
HONG KONG's Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) has announced its chief operating officer Andy Tung will succeed Philip Chow after his retirement as the new chief executive with effect from July 1.

Mr Tung will continue to be an executive director and a member of the executive committee of Orient Overseas (International) Ltd (OOIL), the parent company of OOCL, and managing director and a member of the executive committee of OOCL, said the company statement.

Mr Tung, nephew of Tung Chee-Chen, the chairman, president and CEO of OOIL Group, took the position of COO in January 2009. He has also served the group in various positions, including as director of reefer trade of OOCL between 1993 and 1998.

Mr Tung holds a bachelors from Princeton and an MBA from Stanford. He is currently a member of the executive committee of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association.

After stepping down as OOCL's chief executive, Mr Chow will stay at the carrier's parent company OOIL Group, in which he has served for more than 36 years, as a non-executive director.


AP Moller-Maersk CEO faces heart surgery again and 2 months of sick leave
DENMARK's AP Moller-Maersk CEO chief executive Nils Smedegaard Andersen, 53, faces more heart surgery and six to eight more weeks of sick leave after been laid up for three months, reports Reuters.

Mr Andersen's first cardiac operation sought to repair a leaking heart valve in December, shortly after the CEO of his major unit, Maersk Line, Evinid Kolding, resigned to run Danske Bank while the man who ran the group's tanker division, Soren Skou, took over from Mr Kolding to run the container operation

In Mr Andersen's absence AP Moller-Maersk is being run by its executive board, the members of which report directly to the chairman of the board, Michael Pram Rasmussen, the company said.

"The management team has passed the test and has shown itself to be robust and will also be able to handle the extension of Nils Andersen's sick leave without any loss of momentum," said Mr Rasmussen.

At first, Mr Andersen was supposed to be away a month, but that was extended to two months at the end of January. He was then expected to be back at work this week, but doctors said he needed more surgery, and an operation was scheduled for today (March 28), after which medical leave will be extended up to two months.


Ron Widdows to become new CEO of Hamburg's Rickmers Group from April
RONALD WIDDOWS, former-CEO of Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines, and before that, he was CEO of its container arm, APL, will become the new chief executive officer of Hamburg-based Rickmers Holding and Rickmers-Linie from April 1 with Rickmers' CFO Ignace Van Meenen acting as his deputy.

Jan Steffens, the sitting CEO of both Rickmers companies, will step down on March 31 but will serve as an adviser at the Rickmers Group.

Said Rickmers Holding chairman Bertram Rickmers: "I am pleased to announce that Jan Steffens, who asked for this change of role, will continue to be with us on the advisory board and take care of special projects associated with the Rickmers Group.

"I am very happy to welcome Ron Widdows to the Rickmers Group. Mr Widdows has over 40 years' experience in the shipping industry, the last 31 years of which were with APL and Neptune Orient Lines, where he held the position of Group President and CEO."

Mr Widdows, 53, is currently the chairman of Washington DC-based World Shipping Council and is on the advisory boards of the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York and the International Transport Forum based in Europe. He is also a past chairman of the Transpacific Stabilisation Agreement.

Said Mr Rickmers: "Ron brings a wealth of experience in container shipping and deep relationships within the industry, with shippers, governments and the financial community to his new role. The combination of the rich history and strong brand of Rickmers and the experience of this well-known shipping professional is a very positive development in the process of further expanding our successful enterprise with a strong focus on the Asia-Pacific and American markets."


New Maersk Line CEO picks execs as group chief recovers from heart surgery
NEW Maersk Line CEO Soren Skou has announced his new executive suite while predecessor Evind Kolding moves off to a new job at Dansk Bank and the sitting AP Moller Maersk Group CEO, Nils Andersen, lies in bed recuperating from emergency heart surgery in Switzerland.

New to the management team - and Maersk Line - is Jakob Stausholm, former Group CFO of the global facility provider ISS. Also new is Vincent Clerc, responsible for Maersk Line's Asia-Europe trade as is Bill Allen, head of group HR. Lucas Vos continues as member of the executive team, but take on new responsibility.

Apart from CEO Mr Skou, the former CEO of Maersk Tankers, there is CCO Lucas Vos who comes from outside Maersk Line. COO Morten Engelstoft continues as he was. Other executives include chief strategy and transformation officer Jakob Stausholm, CFO Peter Ronnest Andersen, who continues in his current position; chief product and yield officer Vincent Clerc as well as acting head of human resources Bill Allen, who concurrently heads groupwide HR.

Said Mr Skou: "The team has the potential to take Maersk Line to the next level. Recently, Maersk introduced new products and has taken out costs. The result is that Maersk Line today has margins above industry averages. However, we have potential for much more and will continue to improve profitability, which is not satisfactory."


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