Vancouver-based shipowner Seaspan Corporation has announced that longtime CEO, co-chairman and co-founder Gerry Wang will retire by the end of this year. He will stay on until a successor is identified, and will remain on the board through December 31.
Seaspan Corp. said in a statement that Wang is departing to focus on his family's investments and on his charitable work. "I am choosing this timing because the Company’s financial and operational position is strong and industry fundamentals have improved. I would like to thank the Washington family for its unwavering support of Seaspan over the years, in particular during the 2008 financial crisis," Wang said. "It has been my honor serving as Seaspan’s CEO since the company was founded, and I wish everyone the best in the future."
David Sokol, a recently appointed board member and a member of the firm's executive committee, has been named chairman of Seaspan’s board. He is a serial entrepreneur, a veteran of Berkshire Hathaway and the manager of his own private investment group, Teton Capital. He is also a director of WashCo, the Washington family's investment vehicle and Seaspan's largest shareholder. Sokol will oversee Seaspan's CEO succession and leadership transition.
Co-chairmen and co-founders Kyle Washington and Gerry Wang are now chairmen emeritus.
"I wish Gerry great success in all his future activities and good health, and appreciate him working with David Sokol and the management team for a smooth transition into Seaspan’s next phase of growth," said Dennis R. Washington, WashCo's founder.
[Editor’s note: Publicly traded Seaspan Corp., the world’s biggest containership leasing business, is a distinct entity from privately-held Seaspan, a Vancouver-based shipbuilder and vessel operator.]