Lars-Christian Svensen will run Tor Olav Troim’s 2020 Bulkers and Himalaya Shipping after leaving John Fredriksen’s Golden Ocean Group at the end of May.

The Oslo-listed newcastlemax companies said Svensen will eventually take over as chief executive after Herman Billung retires in 2025.

Svensen will join as chief commercial officer at both owners on 1 September.

From 1 April next year, he will become CEO of both companies under the management agreement between 2020 Bulkers and Himalaya.

This will coincide with Billung reaching retirement age at 67 years.

The outgoing joint CEO will become a special adviser to both boards.

The 2020 Bulkers board said it is “very pleased to have secured a solid succession plan for the companies”.

“Further, we are extremely thankful for the fact that we will be able to draw on Mr Billung’s vast experience following his retirement in April 2025,” it added.

Svensen has a 17-year career in international shipping.

From 2007 to 2008, he worked as a shipbroker for Cmarine Services and then spent a year as a project analyst for VLGC owner Petredec in Singapore.

Western Bulk stalwart

There followed 11 years at Norway’s Western Bulk, where he held various positions within the group in Singapore, the US and Oslo, where he became senior vice president.

From 2020 to 2024, he was CCO and then CEO of Golden Ocean.

Svensen said he was very pleased to join two of the most modern newcastlemax owners in the world.

“With the most efficient fleet in this segment, the companies hold a strategic advantage that I hope to further develop in my new role,” he added.

“I look forward to working with the team to utilise the efficiency and decarbonisation strategy already in place and contribute to the fleet’s commercial performance.”

Billung said the new boss will have “a very interesting journey in the years to come”.

“I have learned to know him as an energetic and knowledgeable person, who I believe is the right person for the job,” he said.

“After more than 35 years in the dry bulk industry, it is important for me to leave the helm with a succession plan benefiting our shareholders in the best possible manner.”

Svensen was only made permanent in the Golden Ocean CEO position in January.

The shipowner said last month he had decided “to seek new opportunities”.

Trading is what Svensen is known for, following an earlier career as a professional poker player — which is said to have impressed Fredriksen, Golden Ocean’s largest shareholder.

Chief financial officer Peder Simonsen has stepped in as interim CEO and will continue his existing duties.

Golden Ocean said Svensen will be available for the company until 1 September.