Arnout Damen named CEO of Damen Shipyards

Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards has appointed Arnout Damen as CEO. He will take over the position from René Berkvens on January 1, 2020.

Arnout Damen / Image source: Damen Shipyards
Arnout Damen / Image source: Damen Shipyards

In a statement on Monday, the company said that Damen Shipyards would switch to a divisional structure “to serve the market more effectively and efficiently.”

Kommer Damen, the company’s Chairman, and Arnout Damen’s father said: “We are extremely indebted to René for his commitment as our company’s top executive. Under his leadership, Damen has grown into a globally operating, leading player. We are therefore pleased that he continues to use his knowledge, network, and experience for the company in preparation for his accession to the Supervisory Board.”

Damen Shipyards said the CEO shift was a logical step as Arnout Damen has been preparing for the move to CEO for many years.

“Over the past nine years he has been a member of the group’s Executive Board, responsible for operations and commercial affairs,” Damen Shipyards said. Damen Shipyards which employs 12,000 people worldwide, builds a wide array of vessels from tugs, workboats, naval and patrol vessels, high-speed craft, cargo vessels, dredgers, to vessels for the offshore industry, ferries, pontoons, and superyachts.

Arnout Damen’s first priority as CEO will be the further implementation of the divisional structure.

“Preparations for this have been going on for several months. We will be officially switching from 1 January,” Arnout Damen said.

“Damen is known as an innovative and dynamic company that works very closely with its clients. We would like to maintain this. With the growth of recent years, the switch to a divisional structure has become logical to remain close to the various markets and to further expand our leading position in the fields of quality, digitalization, and sustainability, ” he added.

In his position as Chief Commercial Officer, Arnout Damen will be succeeded on January 1 by Jan-Wim Dekker.

According to the company, Damen has delivered more than 6,500 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers around 175 vessels annually to customers worldwide.


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