Number-two container carrier MSC announced Monday that Søren Toft, the chief operating officer of competitor A.P. Moller – Maersk, will be its next CEO. Toft abruptly departed his post at Maersk seven days ago.
“MSC is delighted that Mr. Toft will be supporting the Aponte family at the helm to ensure that the company remains a global leader in the years to come,” MSC said in a statement. “He will report directly to Diego Aponte, group president, and Gianluigi Aponte, founder and group chairman . . . MSC is confident that this appointment will bring significant value to its cargo businesses, building on the company’s existing strengths and boosting its development plans even further.”
Toft, 45, will be relocating to Geneva with his wife and family to take up the post, MSC said.
Until last Monday, Søren Toft was a rising star at Maersk, the blue-chip carrier where he started his shipping career 25 years ago. For a 2017 profile, his colleagues told Danish outlet ShippingWatch that Toft had the potential to one day succeed current Maersk CEO Søren Skou; in a reversal, the two executives will now be competitors.
“I have worked with Søren for many years, and I appreciate Søren’s many contributions to A.P. Moller – Maersk. He leaves an agile and strong operating organization and we all wish Søren the very best in the future,” said Søren Skou in a statement last week.
A.P. Moller – Maersk leads the ocean freight market with 4.2 million TEU in nameplate capacity, about 18 percent of the global market. MSC ranks second, trailing by about 450,000 TEU.