On Wednesday, Rodolphe Saadé was promoted to the post of CEO of the CMA CGM Group. His father, Jacques Saadé, will remain as CMA CGM's chairman.
“Rodolphe has proven himself over the years, and he has my deepest trust as [CEO]," Jacques Saadé said. "I know that, with Rodolphe as CEO, with Farid Salem and Tanya Saadé Zeenny, our executive officers, and all our teams around the world, the Group will continue its development with the same commitment and passion."
Rodolphe Saadé has worked for the family-owned firm since 1994, lately as vice chairman of the board and deputy CEO. He has long been regarded as the firm's heir apparent; among other accomplishments, he led the restructuring of CMA CGM's finances in 2010, the effort to create a "P3" alliance with Maersk and MSC in 2014, and the creation of the newly formed OCEAN Alliance last year (with COSCO, Evergreen and OOCL). He also led CMA CGM’s $2.4 billion takeover bid for NOL / APL in 2015-16, and now serves as the president of NOL's board.
Jacques Saadé, who turned 80 on Wednesday, founded CMA in 1978. Under his leadership, the firm quickly grew beyond its original Mediterranean service area, and it acquired CGM in 1996. While he has handed operations over to the next generation, he plans to remain in the picture. "My son Rodolphe takes the general management, but that does not mean that I am outside,” he told Le Figaro on Wednesday.
CMA CGM is the world's third largest carrier, with $15 billion in revenue, 13 million TEU of capacity and 29,000 employees worldwide. It posted a loss of $475 million for the first three quarters of 2016, with revenues down due to weak freight rates.