HAMBURG Süd chief commercial officer Poul Hestbaek will be CEO of the Maersk-owned shipping company as executive Arnt Vespermann steps down after more than 20 years with the company.

The change is to take place in the first quarter of this year.

Mr Vespermann said Hamburg Süd’s DNA has remained unchanged during the integration process.

“A.P. Moller-Maersk’s multi-brand strategy has been established on the global markets,” he said.

“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.”

A.P. Moller – Maersk CEO ocean and logistics Vincent Clerc said Mr Vespermann had played an instrumental role in ensuring a the successful integration of Hamburg Süd.

“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,” Mr Clerc said.

“With this leadership transition we start a new chapter in Hamburg Süd’s journey as a highly respected brand in the marketplace.”

Mr Hestbaek has been with the company since 2004. 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.

Mr 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.