Chief executive Ulrik Andersen has left John Fredriksen’s Golden Ocean Group, with chief commercial officer Lars-Christian Svensen taking over on an interim basis.

The Oslo-listed company, which is one of the world’s biggest pure-play dry bulk shipowners, said Andersen had decided to step down, with no reason given.

The board reacted swiftly to confirm his temporary successor.

Svensen has “a solid background within the industry and a profound understanding of the company and its organisation”, Golden Ocean said.

“The board is confident that this new appointment will ensure a successful and seamless transition of the role.”

The company is about 40% owned by Fredriksen interests. The Oslo shipping magnate has a reputation for demanding high performance and commitment from executives and has often moved swiftly to replace key staff.

Andersen will be available as an advisor to the company till 1 September.

“I would like to thank Ulrik for his contribution to Golden Ocean. He has led the company through a period of fleet growth and fleet renewal. I wish Ulrik success in his future endeavours,” said chairman Ola Lorentzon.

Andersen said: “I would like to express my gratitude to the board of Golden Ocean for the opportunity to lead the company during a transformative period that encompassed significant fleet growth and required navigating a challenging and volatile macroeconomic landscape.

“I’m proud of the accomplishments achieved during my tenure, and I am confident that Golden Ocean is well-positioned for future success. I extend my best wishes to the company as it embarks on the next chapter.”

Svensen said he had no comment beyond the company statement.

Andersen posted a detailed farewell message on LinkedIn, outlining his achievements in the role.

He called his tenure an “incredible journey”.

The former CEO pointed to disciplined capital allocation that allowed the company to acquire 34 vessels and pay out nearly $900m in dividends in his three years there.

“To all the incredible people working at Golden Ocean: Thank you for your dedication, expertise, support, and patience! It has been fantastic to work alongside all of you, and I hope that our paths cross in the future,” he added.

“There’s a time for everything, and right now, the time is right for a sunny summer spent with family. Let’s see what the future has in store!”

Andersen had been CEO since April 2020, after joining from Fredriksen’s VLGC company Avance Gas.

Before that, he was commercial head of shipping for gas carrier owner Petredec and managing director of Neu Gas Shipping International.

He also serves on the board of bulker owner SwissMarine.

Svensen has been chief commercial officer since December 2020.

He was previously at Western Bulk, where he was senior vice president in Norway and president of the US trading activities in Seattle.

Svensen is also a Petredec alumnus, having served as a downstream analyst there, and he was a tanker broker for Cmarine Services in Singapore.

He holds a shipping degree from Merkantilt Institutt of Norway.