New Odfjell chief executive Harald Fotland says he will run the company in his own way when he takes over from Kristian Morch on Friday,
But the Oslo-listed chemical tanker owner’s current chief operating officer says there will be no revolution at the company.
Fotland told TradeWinds that he was bombarded with congratulations from “everywhere” on Monday, the day of the announcement.
The day after, however, he said he started feeling very excited and is greatly looking forward to taking over the job.
The COO had no hesitation in throwing his hat into the ring for the high-profile role.
“I think I immediately decided that I will apply for the job. And I have to admit during that time I occasionally had second thoughts, wondering ‘am I up to it or not?’ he told TradeWinds.
“Then gradually that feeling has passed by and I’ve become more and more motivated for the job,” he added.
Former Gard and Norwegian navy man Fotland explained that as COO he has been responsible for all the internal processes at Odfjell, while CEO Morch has taken care of the external relations.
“So the big difference is I have to delegate those tasks and take more responsibility for external relations with customers, other stakeholders and so on,” Fotland said.
Different routes to the same goal?
“The fact we are changing CEO doesn’t mean we have to change the strategic goals of the company, but of course it might be,” he added.
“Kristian and I, although we have been working extremely closely together, are two different people,” Fotland said.
This means the strategy to achieve those common goals might be different, he explains.
“But there won’t be a revolution in Odfjell because of me taking over,” the incoming CEO said.
“The fact the board had the confidence in me confirms they feel that the company is on the right track and they want that development to continue,” he added. “If they were looking for radical change then they would find someone else, not an insider.”
Morch’s final results presentation due
Fotland takes over on 6 May, the day after Morch presents his final quarterly results before leaving the company to head home to Denmark with his family.
Chairman and biggest shareholder Laurence Odfjell said the company was pleased that an internal candidate has taken on the job, after a recruitment process that also considered outside executives.
Fotland joined Odfjell in 2010 as chief of staff. He was appointed senior vice president of Odfjell Tankers in 2015, and took the role as the company’s first chief operating officer in 2018.
He was formerly a vice president at Norwegian ship insurer Gard and held various positions in the Norwegian navy for 12 years.