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Vard Appoints Former Ulstein Chief Cathrine Marti as New CEO

Cathrine Marti
Courtesy Vard Group

Published Apr 3, 2024 8:44 PM by The Maritime Executive

Offshore and specialty shipbuilder Vard Group has selected Cathrine Kristiseter Marti as its new CEO, effective June 1. 

Marti, the former CEO of Ulstein, has longstanding business ties in Norway's maritime community. Vard's parent company, Fincantieri, sees value in those connections: Vard has its corporate headquarters and three shipyards in Norway, along with its locations in Romania, Vietnam and Brazil. 

Before signing on with Vard, Marti worked for Ulstein for more than nine years, including three and a half years as CEO. She departed in November 2023 to take on a new opportunity and was replaced by her predecessor, Gunvor Ulstein, who returned to take up the top post. Marti has had a brief break before starting with Vard.

"However much I have appreciated this in-between period spending quality time with my family, I am ready to put my energy to work and get back into the vibrant world of shipbuilding," Marti said in a social media statement. 

Outgoing Vard CEO Alberto Maestrini will remain the chairman of the firm's board, and will remain the head of Fincantieri's offshore vessels division, the parent organization of Vard. Fincantieri emphasized its thanks for Maestrini's "fantastic effort" in his four years running Vard.   

"After some difficult years, Vard Group has finally reached a sound business position. Now, I am very happy to give the helm to Cathrine for the next phase of the journey, which I am sure will bring an even brighter future to Vard and Fincantieri," said Maestrini in a statement.

Over the last year, Vard has had considerable success in winning orders in the offshore wind sector, a new growth area for specialty shipbuilding. It has secured multiple contracts to build specialized cable-layers and construction service operation vessels (CSOVs) for wind industry clients.