Ex-Maersk Executive Søren Toft Takes the Helm at MSC

Image courtesy MSC

Published Dec 2, 2020 3:34 PM by The Maritime Executive

After a yearlong hiatus, Maersk Line veteran Søren Toft has started his new role as CEO of number-two ocean carrier MSC. 

Toft was previously EVP and chief operating officer at Maersk, where he had worked since the mid-1990s. He was widely seen as a potential successor to Maersk CEO Søren Skou, but he left Maersk suddenly last year. On November 11, 2019, the line announced that Toft had "decided to pursue an opportunity outside of the company and will leave effective today."

At Maersk, Toft was the public face of liner operations, and he was credited with the success of several key initiatives - particularly in brokering the acquisition of competitor Hamburg Sud in 2017. The deal preserved Hamburg Sud's identity and structure while giving A.P. Moller - Maersk a market-leading combined fleet capacity of 4.1 million TEU. 

In his new role as CEO of MSC, Søren Toft oversees the line's global cargo businesses, including ocean liner and logistics operations. (As MSC is a partner with Maersk Line in the 2M Alliance, these business lines include elements of regulator-approved coordination with Toft's former firm.) He will also be a member of the board of directors of Terminal Investment Ltd (TIL), the terminals business majority-owned by MSC.

“With his twenty-five years of experience in leadership roles at Maersk, and his comprehensive understanding of the future of the container shipping supply chain, Søren is the ideal match to help lead MSC into the future at the helm of our family company, building on the strategy which has made MSC such a growing success these past five decades," said MSC Group President Diego Aponte. 

“I am very excited and humbled by the opportunity given to me by the Aponte family," said Toft. "Helping to preserve the MSC DNA and lead such a successful company into the future is a great honour and a privilege for me.”