Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) has poached a leading executive from rival V.Group to spearhead its decarbonisation drive.

The company said Bjoern Sprotte has joined as chief people and sustainability officer.

He was previously chief executive of V.Group’s ship management division.

Sprotte will be based in Limassol, Cyprus, and report to BSM chief executive Ian Beveridge, overseeing the environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy across the wider Schulte Group.

“Sprotte has had a long career in the European shipping industry,” BSM said.

Prior to V.Group, he spent four years in senior roles at manager OSM Maritime.

Sprotte began his career at Germany’s Rickmers Group, where he rose from nautical officer to CEO of maritime services over a period of 15 years.

He then became vice president at Carnival Maritime, developing the US cruise giant’s ship management strategy.

Beveridge said: “Our focus lies on long-term and sustainable growth, and increasingly also on socially and environmentally conscious growth. Changing aspirations in recruitment poses new challenges.

“Bjoern Sprotte has a strong knowledge of HR [human resources] and crewing requirements in relation to the maritime market dynamics, as well as a proven track record in training and executive coaching.

“By pooling our knowledge and combining forces, I look forward to accelerating our growth journey together.”

Sprotte said he is “thrilled” to join BSM.

He said the leadership team is “committed to developing the image and reputation of our group and business units to strengthen our market position as a competitive player and attractive employer of choice”.