Gerry Wang, chief executive officer, co-chairman and co-founder of Seaspan Corporation is to retire on December 31, 2017.
According to Seaspan, Wang, who is retiring to focus on family business investments and charitable efforts, will continue to be CEO until the end of the year or until a replacement is identified before then. He will also continue to serve on the board until the end of the year.
“I am extremely proud of Seaspan’s accomplishments and its unsurpassed industry position,” said Wang. “It has been a fun and challenging journey for the past 20 years. I am choosing this timing because the company’s financial and operational position is strong and industry fundamentals have improved. I would like to thank the Washington family for its unwavering support of Seaspan over the years, in particular during the 2008 financial crisis with the US$180 million series A preferred equity investment. I would also like to thank the company’s dedicated employees for making Seaspan the first choice among customers and the source of our success. I also thank our many investors and capital providers including banks for their ongoing partnership with our company. It has been my honour serving as Seaspan’s CEO since the company was founded, and I wish everyone the best in the future. Finally I would like to thank my wife and family for all the support they have provided me.”
The board of directors has appointed David Sokol, a member of the board and executive committee, as chairman of the board. Peter Curtis has also been appointed as executive vice president and chief operating officer.
“I have been impressed with Seaspan’s outstanding group of employees, from those operating the ships to the senior management team, and it is an honour to serve as chairman of this dedicated and talented group of professionals,” said Sokol. “Continuously exceeding our customers’ expectations has been a hallmark of Seaspan’s success and we will not waver from our high standards. Peter Curtis has a proven track record of meeting the exacting needs of our customers, and we are pleased to promote him to executive vice president and chief operating officer. As the world’s leading container ship leasing franchise, Seaspan is very well positioned to capitalize on opportunities that arise during this period of improving industry fundamentals.”
The board of directors has also set up The Office of the Chairman to oversee the CEO succession and overall leadership transition, according to Seaspan. Headed by Sokol, the office will consist of Wang, Curtis, Mark Chu, chief development officer and general counsel, David Spivak, chief financial officer, and Gabrielle Smith, director of human resources.
Seaspan’s managed fleet currently consists of 114 container vessels with a total capacity of over 915,000 TEUs.