Rodolphe Saadé steps into father's role at CMA CGM as founder moves aside


Jacques Saadé, founder and chairman of CMA CGM, is to finally step down from his role at the top of the company in favour of his son, Rodolphe, who will assume the newly reformed role of chairman and chief executive.

Rodolphe Saadé had already taken up the position of chief executive earlier in the year in the 80th birthday of his father, who has been given the position of founder-chairman.

“His strategy has delivered very good operational and financial results. The group is strong. I am very confident in its future. That is why I have decided to entrust to Rodolphe the chairmanship of the group in addition to his current responsibilities as ceo," said Jacques Saadé.

“He has the full support of the board of directors, the management team and the 29,000 employees with whom he will pursue the development of the CMA CGM Group, to which I dedicated my entire life.”

Rodolphe said his father’s decision was an “historic one for our group, which became a key global player under his chairmanship”.

He added: “Jacques Saadé is both an extraordinary entrepreneur and visionary. I will pursue with determination the development of our group and strengthen its position as a leader.”

The news comes as the company released its third-quarter results, which showed a marked improvement over the corresponding period last year.

Volumes were up 11% and revenues up by more than 25%, leading to a net income of $323m for the quarter, reversing a loss of $268m in the third quarter of last year.

CMA CGM carried close to 5m containers during the quarter, a record figure for the line.

“This increase can be explained by the strong growth in volumes carried through Ocean Alliance, on the Asia-US and Asia-Europe routes, as well as on most of the north-south and intraregional routes,” CMA CGM said.

The increase in freight rates seen at the beginning of the year continued through the quarter, enabling an increase of 14.4% in average revenue per container carried.

CMA CGM reported a core earnings before interest and tax margin of 10% to $568m in the quarter.