Danish shipowners may choose lobbyist as new executive

According to the chairman of the board of the Danish Shipowners’ Association, Norden CEO Carsten Mortensen, the upcoming hiring of a new Director General which will take place within the months to come is “extremely important”. Visibility and lobbyism are the key words.

If you are dreaming of becoming the next Director General of one of the most important Danish industry organisations, the Danish Shipowners’ Association, you have to have the whole package. It is not enough just having this and that. According to the chairman of the board, Carsten Mortensen, the organisation is searching for a candidate who is able to “show leadership as well as create visibility about the industry’s interests towards decision makers”, or as he puts it, the new Director General must live up to all of the demands listed in the job posting published by the organisation Friday and to which the deadline is less than a month away.

“We have had a skillful Director General for many years, and now we are carrying out a generational change and we are looking for someone to spearhead the organisation. The hiring is extremely important but it does not mark a change in the organisation’s work and objectives”, Carsten Mortensen states in an interview with ShippingWatch.

He does not wish to elaborate on which of the qualifications in the job posting will be the most important in a new Director General. The only thing that is on the cards is that the new executive is most likely to be Danish.

Danish lobbyism

“Much of a new Director General’s job is related to lobbyism in Denmark and therefore it is natural that the successor will be Danish. Our aim with the search is to be able to present the identity of the future Director General at the Danish Shipowners’ Association’s general meeting in May”, Carsten Mortensen says.

ShippingWatch has spoken to a number of sources in the industry and here, speculations as to who and how the new Director General will be are rife. There is a broad agreement in the industry that the ideal candidate is able to master diverse disciplines as the candidate first and foremost has to have good and modern management competences in an organisation in which a relatively large share of the employees are relatively young and graduates.

Furthermore the candidate will have to be able to maintain the attention and sympathy towards the industry most parts of the industry agree exists in the Danish Parliament and moreover, the candidate will have to create awareness of the Danish viewpoints in EU in Brussels and at IMO in London.

Understanding of members

The bids from the industry range from present or former top politicians e.g. some of the former Business Ministers, over top officials from the relevant authorities to shipping-trained people who are either in the industry or have been until recently. However, it seems that everybody agrees that “visible lobbyism” is a decisive demand to the candidate and some state that the former Director General Peter Bjerregaard has led a more retracted role compared to other industry organisations. Furthermore, some of the sources assess that the successor will not be a former politicians, which was the case when former Defence Minister, Søren Gade, took over the position as CEO of the Danish Agriculture & Food Council last year, as the job deals a lot with regulation and bureaucracy and an understanding of a group of members ranging from some of the world’s largest shipping companies to some of the smallest is required.

ShippingWatch knows of people in the industry who “considers” applying for the position and is looking to enter into a dialogue with board in order to find out just how the different demands are weighted. The decision is made by the board which consists of representatives from some of the biggest shipping companies. Other than Norden CEO, Carsten Mortensen, as Chairman the board consists of Maersk Drilling CEO Claus Hemmingsen (Vice-Chairman) former Chairman of the Danish Shipowners' Association and J. Lauritzen CEO, Torben Janholt, DFDS CEO, Niels Smedegaard, Torm CEO, Jacob Meldgaard and Nordic Tankers CEO, Tommy Thomsen.

Danish Shipowners in search of new Director General,


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