Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Maersk Shipping Patriarch Dies

Danish businessman Maersk McKinney Moeller, patriarch of the AP Moeller-Maersk shipping conglomerate, died in Copenhagen April 16. He was 98.

“On behalf of the entire family, I wish to express our deep sorrow at the loss of our father, grandfather and great grandfather, Maersk McKinney Moeller,” his daughter, Ane Maersk McKinney Uggla, said in a statement released by the family. “My sisters and I have lost a father who never failed neither his family nor his business.”

Moeller, who joined his family’s company in 1940 when it was known as Firmaet AP Moeller, helped transform it into the largest shipping business in the world. The company, which was founded in 1904 by Moeller’s grandfather, former sea captain Peter Maersk Moller, gradually grew and diversified over the decades. Maersk McKinney Moller became the company’s chairman and chief executive after the death of his father, Peter Maersk Moeller, in 1965.

Currently, AP Moeller-Maersk handles 15 percent of the manufactured goods around the world that are shipped by sea, according to industry estimates. The group employs about 117,000 people in 130 countries, and owns numerous subsidiary shipping and energy companies, including Maersk Line, Safmarine, Damco and the independently operated APM Terminals.

Moller, who was last seen publicly at his company’s annual general meeting in Denmark on April 12, stepped down as chair of the company in 2003, but still played a role in the day to day operations of the conglomerate until his death.

He is survived by three daughters, Ane Maersk McKinney Uggla, Leise Maersk McKinney Moeller and Kirsten McKinney Moeller Olufsen.