Second C-Level Executive Departs Maersk

Maersk headquarters in Copenhagen (Maersk)

Published Nov 25, 2019 10:16 PM by The Maritime Executive

A second top A.P. Moller-Maersk executive has departed suddenly for a new opportunity: Maersk CFO Carolina Dybeck Happe has accepted the CFO post at American industrial giant General Electric. Her exit comes 11 months after she started at Maersk, and it follows just two weeks after COO Søren Toft departed to become CEO of Maersk competitor MSC.

Dybeck Happe joined Maersk in January after 16 years at the Swedish lockmaker Assa Abloy. According to General Electric CEO Larry Culp, Jr., she was selected in part for her experience at Maersk in executing a deleveraging plan. Maersk has shed about one third of its interest-bearing debt over the period that Dybeck Happe held the position of CFO, with borrowing down to about $12 billion from $18 billion in Q3 2018. 

“I would like to thank Carolina for her short, but productive time at AP Møller-Maersk. She is committed to building on the progress that has been made and ensuring a smooth and orderly handover," said Maersk CEO and acting COO Søren Skou in a statement.

GE, once the longest-running member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, has been working to reverse its fortunes and to pay down a heavy debt load for years. In 2016, it sold off most of its finance arm GE Capital, and it recently sold its $21 billion Biopharma unit in order to raise funds. Today, GE's net debt stands at roughly $100 billion, according to Barron's.

Dybeck Happe's exit is the second high-level departure from Maersk's C-suite this month. Søren Toft, the company's young and ambitious chief operating officer, abruptly left his post November 11 after a 25-year career at Maersk. Seven days later, number-two container carrier MSC announced that it had hired Mr. Toft as its next CEO.