Lars-Christian Svensen is stepping down as CEO of bulker owner Golden Ocean Group.

Svensen, who was made permanent in the position in January, has decided “to seek new opportunities”, according to a statement from the company.

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

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

“I would like to thank the board and my colleagues for wonderful years,” Svensen said.

“I am proud to have contributed to the company’s success and development during my tenure. I wish the company all the best, and I am sure the prosperity will continue going forward.”

Svensen will be available for the company until 1 September.

“I would like to thank Lars-Christian for his valuable contributions to the company as CCO and CEO and wish him all the best for the future,” said Ola Lorentzon, chairman of Golden Ocean.

Svensen’s departure comes almost exactly a year after Golden Ocean’s previous CEO, Ulrik Andersen, abruptly left the role.

Golden Ocean’s share price does not appear to have reacted much to the news of Svensen’s departure.

Shares were trading at NOK 155.30 as of 9:45 am in Oslo, which is up by 0.5% since the open. The stock is also listed on Nasdaq in New York.

Svensen joined Golden Ocean as chief commercial officer in November 2020 after resigning from bulker operator Western Bulk, where he worked for 11 years.

From 2017, Svensen was senior vice president of Western Bulk’s South Atlantic and US Gulf business, specialising in the supramax and ultramax markets.

While at Golden Ocean, Svensen was instrumental in opening up new commercial opportunities by carrying “unconventional” cargoes on larger vessels. He was the man behind a deal in 2022 that saw the first known cargo of logs being carried on a newcastlemax.

Before Western Bulk, Svensen worked for LPG shipowner Petredec as a downstream analyst and Cmarine Services as a tanker broker in Singapore.

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