I am pleased to announce the appointments of René Kofod-Olsen as Chief Executive Officer of V.Group and Graham Westgarth as Chairman of the Board, effective November 1 2020.
René 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 digitisation 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.
Graham, who has been Chief Executive Officer of V.Group since April 2019, will be assuming the role of Chairman of the Board, taking over from John Pattullo. In his time as CEO, Graham has pursued a customer focused strategy geared to delivering operational excellence and, in doing so, has grown the business in a number of important areas. 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.
Graham Westgarth, Chairman-elect of the Board, commented: “I am delighted that René is joining as Chief Executive Officer. He brings strong commercial acumen, broad shipping experience and strategic transformation knowhow. 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. I feel privileged to be appointed Chairman and see it as a natural transition for V.Group. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the significant contribution of our outgoing Chairman, John Pattullo, who will stay on the Board through the year end.”
René said: “These are challenging and changing times for the global shipping industry, with a multitude of opportunities ahead. 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.”