Professor Dr Dirk Max Johns has resigned from the management of the German Shipowners’ Association (VDR) to devote more time to lecturing.

Johns will focus on his role at the Hamburg School of Business Administration, where he runs the Maritime Management bachelor programme and the Business Development master programme.

The 53-year-old academic leaves the VDR on 15 August. However, he will be available as an advisor.

Johns has been on the management board of the association since 2012. He joined in 2005 as director of communications.

He has been responsible for national and international employer relations, and was chief negotiator for the maritime industry at the International Labour Organization in Geneva. He also has a background in management at German TV station ZDF.

VDR president Alfred Hartmann said: “I’m really pleased that he will continue to assist us as a consultant with his expertise, experience and key contacts and that he will closely monitor labour law topics of particular importance to maritime shipping and also represent the VDR internationally.”

Johns' work will be carried on by executive committee member Ralf Nagel and managing director Martin Kroger.