V.Group Names René Kofod-Olsen as New CEO

V.Group names new ceo an chairman
René Kofod-Olsen - courtesy of V.Group

Published Sep 30, 2020 2:37 PM by The Maritime Executive

V.Group, a global provider of ship management and marine support services, announced that René Kofod-Olsen would be joining the group as its new Chief Executive Officer. Graham Westgarth, who had served as CEO since April 2019 is becoming Chairman of the Board.

Kofod-Olsen¸ who will join V.Group on November 1, becomes the fourth CEO in recent years of the company that has been investing in expansion and growing is services responding to the changes in the maritime world. The change comes at a difficult time for the shipping industry and their customers, which have been dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. The group has been working to assist its customers on the challenges of crew changes as well as other issues confronting the maritime industry ranging from the implementation of the 2020 fuel regulations to the on-going push to digitization in the industry.

“These are challenging and changing times for the global shipping industry, with a multitude of opportunities ahead,” said René Kofod-Olsen. “This year, V.Group has provided strong support to customers and crews in response to the Covid crisis and also won significant new business. This underlines the trust which V.Group’s customers place in the company’s overall value proposition. I am delighted to be joining the V.Group team on their continuing journey of delivering value to our customers”.

Kofod-Olsen brings a wealth of experience from almost three decades in the global shipping industry. In 2012 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Topaz Energy & Marine, a position he held until the company’s successful divestment in 2019. He stepped down after completing the integration process in 2020, having successfully navigated the business through an unprecedented oil & gas environment, while transforming the company into a global leader. Selected accomplishments during his tenure include: building a $1.7bn client order book, pioneering digitization and connectivity across the group’s global footprint, developing a market leading safety culture and establishing a number of innovative strategic partnerships with the global oil majors. Earlier in his career he worked for the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group where he held a variety of executive positions in numerous countries including Chief Executive Officer of SVITZER, Asia, Middle East and Africa.

“I am delighted that René is joining as Chief Executive Officer. He brings strong commercial acumen, broad shipping experience and strategic transformation knowhow,” commented Graham Westgarth. “There remains an abundance of opportunities in the broader ship management industry from which V.Group is well placed to benefit. I am convinced that, under his leadership, we can take our business to even higher levels. I believe our skill sets are complementary and personally look forward very much to working with him.”

Graham Westgarth replaces John Pattullo, who will remain on the group’s board until the end of the year. Assuming the CEO position in April 2019, Westgarth has pursued a customer focused strategy geared to delivering operational excellence and, in doing so, grew the business. In his new role, he will provide valuable continuity to sustain this progress and the group will continue to benefit from his significant expertise in the maritime sector.