CMA CGM completes transition from father to son

CMA CGM completes transition from father to son
Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM Group executive officer

The founder of CMA CGM has announced that his son will take over his position as chairman of the board.

Rodolphe Saadé has been Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Marseilles-based company since February 2017 but will now be both CEO and chair.

His 80-year old father Jacques Saadé said: “To prepare the future, last February 7th I appointed Rodolphe Saadé to the position of CEO. 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.”

“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.”

In a statement, Rodolphe declared: “My father’s decision is an historic one for our Group which became a key global player under his chairmanship. 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.”

CMA was founded by the Lebanese-French Jacques Saadé in 1978. The company attributes much of its success to being quick to enter the Chinese market, setting up its first office in China in 1992.

In the late 90’s, CMA acquired the newly-privatised Companie Générale Maritime, forming CMA CGM.

After attending university in Montreal,  Rodolphe’s business career started when he founded a company selling water coolers in Lebanon.

In 1994 though, he joined the family business, rising up the ranks to the point where he now controls the company.