Ardmore has revealed its “long-established” succession plan as founder Anthony Gurnee announced his retirement as chief executive and director later this year.

A “comprehensive selection process” has resulted in the board of the New York-listed tanker owner appointing chief commercial officer Gernot Ruppelt as Gurnee’s replacement from 16 September, the company said.

Chief financial officer Bart Kelleher’s role will be expanded to include that of president.

The Ireland-based company envisages appointing a new CCO and CFO in the near future.

“This transition represents the culmination of leadership planning succession that has been long established and extensively discussed at the board and management levels,” Ardmore said on Monday.

Gurnee will remain available as an adviser during the transition period.

Chairman Curtis McWilliams said: “He [Gurnee] is passing on the leadership baton at a time when Ardmore is more profitable, valuable and better positioned than any time in its history, which speaks to both his character and deep commitment to making Ardmore a best-in-class organisation.”

TradeWinds broke the story of Ardmore’s formation in 2010, with former banker and Teekay finance boss Gurnee teaming up with Greenbriar Equity Group, led by ex-Goldman Sachs shipping finance head Regg Jones.

Gurnee said on Monday: “It has been a privilege to work with so many wonderful people in building Ardmore, starting in 2010 with the acquisition of our first ship from our farm cottage in Ireland with my wife Marianne, and with the support of Regg Jones and Greenbriar Equity.”

The team was built up with the addition of Mark Cameron as chief operating officer, leading to its 2013 IPO in New York.

In his retirement statement, Gurnee mentioned all the “challenges and extraordinary market developments that we have experienced”.

“I must admit, it is not an easy decision to leave Ardmore at this point, with such an extended positive market outlook,” he said.

“But, given our independent public company status, and indeed just good governance practice, it is absolutely the right thing for me to make a full departure and let the board and new leadership team forge their own pathway to continued success in this next chapter for Ardmore.”

He added that he has the “utmost confidence” in Ruppelt and Kelleher in a “bold new era”.

Gurnee started out at Citigroup as a financier and also served for six years as a surface line officer in the US Navy, including a tour with naval intelligence.

He helped take Teekay Shipping to Wall Street in 1995.

He has been an eloquent advocate of decarbonisation, putting Ardmore’s money into a joint venture called e1, with clean energy technology developer Element 1, to develop generator technology that converts methanol to hydrogen while a ship is in operation.

Ruppelt has been with Ardmore for 11 years and Kelleher for two.

The new CEO said he was honoured to be selected and called Cork-based Ardmore a great company with a strong team.

Ruppelt joined from Poten & Partners in New York, where he was a tanker projects broker, having previously been a trade manager with AP Moller-Maersk.

Kelleher was formerly chief executive of chemical carrier company Chembulk Tankers and chief operating officer at suezmax owner Principal Maritime.

He has also worked in shipping at Bear Stearns and HSH Nordbank (now Hamburg Commercial Bank) and used to be a deck officer on US-flagged crude tankers.

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