Maersk CEO Soren Skou steps down

Soren Skou
Soren Skou; Image credit Maersk

The CEO of A. P. Møller – Mærsk A/S (Maersk) Soren Skou, who has led the transformation of the company from a diversified conglomerate to an integrated logistics company, is retiring.

Soren Skou; Image credit Maersk

Vincent Clerc, currently CEO of the company’s Ocean & Logistic business, will succeed as CEO of Maersk effective 1 January 2023, Maersk announced. Clerc has been in this position since 2019.

Skou took over the reins of Maersk back in 2016 to lead its massive transformation journey, which has proven to be a very successful endeavor in hedging the company’s performance from the volatility of the container carrier sector. He has worked at A.P. Møller – Mærsk since 1983, holding various leading positions in Maersk Line, with roles in Copenhagen, New York and Beijing.

The company’s transformation momentum remains strong and in the last quarter revenue in logistics exceeded $4bn for the first time ever. Commenting on the results, Skou said recently that the company expects to continue to outgrow the market and that its logistics business would have a higher profit than ocean by the middle of the decade.

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“For almost seven years I have worked together with my team to change the business model, the culture, the digital backbone, and the results to make Maersk a profitable growth company again. That was the mandate I got as CEO in 2016 and I would like to thank the Board, our main shareholder, my executive team and all my fantastic global colleagues for their trust and support throughout the years,” Skou commented.

“Now is the right time for Maersk, for Vincent, and for me to make this transition. The company has executed very well over the past years. We have never been stronger financially and we have an inspiring and visionary plan for the continuation of our global integrator strategy that will guide Maersk for many years to come.”

He added that he would continue to work at a non-executive level to have more time for his family and for other interests.

Clerc voiced his excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to take the transformation further building on the strong foundation laid by Skou.

Vincent Clerc; Image by Maersk

“On the heels of a pandemic, and now with the war in Ukraine and an energy crisis upon us, there are many tough challenges ahead; challenges that impact us all and where Maersk can make a difference.

Companies are rethinking their supply chains in this new environment, they are looking for more stability, and more support on their decarbonisation journey. This represents an incredible business opportunity for Maersk that we all are eager to seize,” he said.

“It will demand of us that we stay the course on our strategy, delivering on our digitalisation and decarbonisation roadmaps, while keeping a sharper than ever eye on our operational excellence and performance. When we do that, we will make a profound positive impact for all our stakeholders.”

“Soren has contributed to our group’s development over almost forty years, of which eleven years as CEO for Maersk Tankers, four years as CEO for Maersk Line and close to seven years as CEO for Maersk. During his tenure as CEO of Maersk, Soren has been instrumental in redefining Maersk into a customer-centric end-to-end logistics provider with a global leadership position in sustainable transportation solutions,” Chair of the Board of Directors, Robert M. Uggla, said.

“On behalf of the Board, I sincerely thank Soren for his valued leadership and impressive results. I am equally grateful for Soren’s support in the CEO succession review making sure the company does not lose any momentum in its strategic endeavors in a changing and difficult market.”