There’s a changing of the guard at the world’s largest shipping company. As he hits the mandated retirement age of 65 for leaders of Chinese state-run entities, Xu Lirong is stepping down as chairman and party secretary at Cosco Shipping after six years in charge.
He will be replaced by Wan Min, who had served as Xu’s deputy before transferring to lead China Travel Service four years ago. Wan’s background in a more than 25-year career with Cosco has predominantly been on the vast conglomerate’s liner business.
During Xu’s tenure, Cosco merged with China Shipping and then paid $6.3bn to take over Hong Kong’s Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL). The group’s shipyards came through the downturn and are now established as among China’s most reliable shipbuilders while on the ports side, Cosco has become the world’s third largest terminal operator.
Xu leaves Cosco at a time where it is on track to post its greatest financial results in its 60-year history.