Founder of CMA CGM Jacques Saadé Dies at 81

Jacques R. Saadé, the founder of the French shipping major CMA CGM, passed away on June 24, 2018 at the age of 81.

Image Courtesy: CMA CGM

Saadé established the Compagnie Maritime d’Affretement (CMA) in September 1978, 40 years ago, after leaving Lebanon following the civil war in the country.

The company started off with 4 employees, a single ship and only one maritime service between Marseilles and Beirut.

In 1983, he sent his first ships beyond the Mediterranean and had them cross the Suez Canal. In 1986, Saadé launched a service linking North Europe to Asia, and later in 1992 he opened CMA’s first office in Shanghai.

Saadé dedicated his life to CMA CGM and made the group into a world leader in the maritime transport of containers, developing the company in more than 160 countries.

The company became the third largest container shipping firm in the world in 2006.

In early 2017, CMA CGM informed that Rodolphe Saadé would succeed his father in the position of Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group. He was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors in November the same year.