German liner company Hapag-Lloyd has reorganized its executive board as the company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Thorsten Haeser steps down.
Haeser, who played a major role in the company’s integration of UASC into the company, is leaving the company as of March 31, 2018, on “the most amicable of terms”, the company said in a release.
As a result, Hapag-Lloyd’s CEO Rolf Habben Jansen will take over the global sales activities.
Joachim Schlotfeldt, who has been a member of the executive committee since 2007, will become a new member of the board as of April 1, 2018. He will take charge of human resources, which was the responsibility of the CEO as labour director, as well as global procurement, previously run by the COO.
“The supervisory board firmly believes that the executive board’s new composition will ensure it remains in an excellent position to successfully lead Hapag-Lloyd into the future,” Michael Behrendt, Chairman of the Supervisory of Hapag-Lloyd, said.
In addition, the company said the management changes were needed due to the increased size of Hapag-Lloyd. Following the mergers with the container activities of CSAV (2014) and UASC (2017), the transport capacities and number of containers transported at Hapag-Lloyd have more than doubled.
Revenue rose by the around 50 pct in the same period, and the number of employees increased by around 70 pct.
“The restructuring of the executive board will make it easier to meet the challenges arising from this rapid growth,” Hapag-Lloyd concluded.
The German liner ended the year with more than tripled operating result (EBIT), reaching EUR 411 million (USD 502 million) against EUR 126 million reported a year earlier.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) climbed up to EUR 1.055 billion, against EUR 607 million posted for 2016.
The group net result stood at EUR 32.1 million for the year 2017, a major rebound from a net loss of EUR 93.1 million from 2016.
Aside from UASC merger, the better financial performance was also ascribed to a positive development of the worldwide container transport volume and a slight recovery of freight rates.
“Looking ahead, we will continue to further reduce our debt. In addition to that, we want to capture all possible synergies from the merger with UASC and become even more efficient,” Rolf Habben Jansen said.
“ The market environment remains challenging, but as we see some of the fundamentals improving gradually over the upcoming period, we remain cautiously optimistic.”