Hong Kong: Maersk, which has long prided itself on its close ties with the Chinese government, is relocating its point man in China from Hong Kong to China. Tim Smith, Maersk China chairman, will move to the Chinese capital in July. Smith will step down as Maersk Line’s North Asia chief executive, a position he has held for the past seven years.
“We have chosen to relocate the office of the chairman to Beijing in consideration of the importance of China to our group. Mainland China is by far the largest cargo origin for our transportation-related activities,” Smith said, adding: “With China’s economy being in transition, we need to be close to stakeholders in business and government to ensure that we identify opportunities and evolve in step with the needs and expectations of our customers.”
Smith, who was with P&O Nedlloyd until it was bought by Maersk 10 years ago, is deemed one of Maersk’s most senior non-Danish executives.
Visitors to any Maersk office in China will notice pictures of senior Maersk names photographed in dialogue with China’s top leadership over the past three decades.