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CEO of Top Chemical-Tanker Firm Stolt-Nielsen Plans to Step Down

stolt nielsen
Courtesy Stolt Tankers

Published Jan 26, 2022 7:00 PM by The Maritime Executive

Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, the chief executive officer of the firm that bears his name, has announced his plans to step down from his role. In a statement, the firm said that he will continue as CEO and as a director on the firm's board until a successor has been named. 

The firm's plan is that once a suitable replacement is found, Mr. Stolt-Nielsen will become the chairman of the board, subject to shareholder approval, replacing Samuel Cooperman. Cooperman, who has served as chairman since 2016, will remain a member of the board.

Stolt-Nielsen is a diversified maritime company with interests in bulk chemicals, bulk liquids and aquaculture. Its Stolt Tankers division is the world's largest operator of specialty chemical tankers. It has additional holdings in tank containers, chemical terminals, aquaculture and LNG.  

Jacob Stolt-Nielsen founded the company in 1959 as Parcel Tankers, Inc., with a vessel class of his own invention - the modern parcel tanker. It quickly expanded and upgraded its fleet, opening new offices around the world. In the early 1970s, it launched its first ventures into the storage terminal and aquaculture businesses. Niels, his son, succeeded Jacob Stolt-Nielsen as the head of the company in 2000. 

"I joined Stolt-Nielsen in 1990 and have served as CEO since 2000. It has been a privilege to lead and work with talented and dedicated individuals throughout the organization for so long. However, I feel now is the right time for me to step aside and let a fresh pair of hands take the company forward," said Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen. "I am announcing my intention today to allow the board sufficient time to appoint my successor and to allow for a smooth handover. I intend to continue to work closely with the board and the leadership team to ensure the successful continuity of the businesses to the benefit of all stakeholders."

Based on the firm's last reported financials, Mr. Stolt-Nielsen appears to be leaving on a high note. The company's Q3 numbers were strong at about $590 million in revenue, up from $490 million the year before. EBITDA stood at $150 million for the quarter, up 16 percent. Stolt-Nielsen Group will report its Q4 and full-year numbers on Thursday.