Zodiac Maritime has beefed up its executive team with experienced former AP Moller-Maersk vice president Tanuj Luthra.

The new chief operating officer will oversee a fleet of nearly 140 ships valued at close to $11bn by VesselsValue.

Luthra described the role at the giant UK shipowner as a “new beginning”.

“My new chapter has begun at Zodiac Maritime … where I am humbled to have joined the impressive executive leadership team and to be working alongside skilled and dedicated maritime professionals, both at sea and on shore,” he said on LinkedIn.

“Zodiac Maritime has a rich history over which time the company has built a strong reputation for its commitment to its customers, focus on quality and performance excellence, and entrepreneurial spirit.

“As I continue my own journey here, I am excited to play a key role in defining the next part of the company’s journey and continuing the Zodiac Maritime success story.”

The Eyal Ofer-controlled company, led by chief executive Daniel Ofer, has a mixed fleet including tankers, bulkers, container ships and car carriers.

In November, Luthra revealed he had taken the big decision to leave Maersk a few months previously.

“For me, this departure is the end of an extremely satisfying and fulfilling 25-plus years with Maersk,” he said.

“It has been a truly fantastic journey and I have been fortunate to have worked in many different parts of the company, and with each new role had the opportunity to learn, unlearn, relearn and grow, working alongside some truly fantastic colleagues and leaders.”

Leaving Maersk

Luthra described leaving “the big blue” as a “surreal feeling.”

“On one hand parting with something that is so close to who I have been, while at the same time leaving with the feeling that I will always carry a part of the company with me through the values, the experiences and the friendships,” he wrote.

The plan had been to take a short break to reset and recharge before starting at Zodiac.

Luthra was most recently head of global safety & resilience at Maersk.

Before that, he was head of fleet operations for four years.