Rickmers grabs rival’s exec

Rickmers-Linie has replaced US head Robert Sappio with an executive from Safmarine’s multipurpose division.

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The Hamburg-headquartered operator of multipurpose ships appointed Waldemar “Val” Poulsen to the president and chief executive role at its Houston-based division as of 1 July.

Poulsen has been director and country manager for in South African shipowner Safmarine’s Houston office.

Before that, he worked at posts in the United States, Ecuador, El Salvador and the Philippines for Danish operator Maersk Line, according to his profile on professional social networking website LinkedIn.

“I am confident that Mr Poulsen will be a valuable asset to the Rickmers organisation,” said Rickmers-Linie chief executive Ulrich Ulrichs.

Rickmers did not give a reason for Sappio’s departure but said he will remain involved as a member of the board of directors for Rickmers-Linie (America)

‘Better positioned

“Bob’s leadership over the last two years has helped to better position our company for the future in the Americas. We are happy he will remain connected to the company in a board role,” said Ulrichs.

Part of the Hamburg-based Rickmers Group, Rickmers-Linie operates a fleet of 18 multipurpose heavy-lift vessels, in addition to several others on the spot market.