The Skov family strenghten their role in Blue Water
Founder Kurt Skov steps down as chairman of the board in the company that will celebrate its 50th jubilee on 1 September. The generational handover also means that Anne Skov takes over as chairman of the Blue Water Foundation
Kurt Skov has for almost 50 years been the dominant frontline person of the transport and logistics group Blue Water Shipping founded by himself in Esbjerg in 1972 – with a small office and three employees. Today, the company has a staff of 2000 distributed at close to 70 offices in 30 countries.
The founder now leaves the role of frontline person to his daughter Anne Skov who will become chairman of the Blue Water Foundation owning 75% of the shares in Blue Water. The Foundation was established in 2007 in order to secure the future ownership of Blue Water, its development and attachment to Esbjerg. Kurt, Gyrithe and Anne have since the establishment formed part of the Foundation Board
As chairman of the Foundation and deputy chairman of the Operational Board Anne Skov til ensure and look after Blue Water’s values and culture and at the same time contribute to setting the principal guidelines for the further development of Blue Water.
“I am proud of as well as humble about taking over as chairman of the Foundation. This is a very strong vote of confidence. I feel great responsibility – and I have a strong wish – to take Blue Water successfully into the future. To ensure the values and the DNA that my father has built Blue Water on. In times to come, the Blue Water Foundation will have a more distinctive profile and be the central basis for the Skov family’s function and involvement in Blue Water”, says Anne Skov.
I wish to be the guarantor for maintaining our values and culture – and for ensuring that Blue Water will be managed with respect for these basic principles. Naturally in a way that also creates space for development and changes – just like we have done through all the years. We wish to strengthen the Foundation and set a long-range direction to ensure a positive development and thereby make sure Blue Water will continue to exist for the next 50 and 100 years”, Anne concludes.
A strong future
Kurt Skov is happy that the last step into the generational handover has now been taken and that Anne wishes to take on the new role ensuring that the Skov family will be directly committed to and involved in Blue Water - also in the future.
”I am confident leaving the duties to Anne who has showed that she has the will, ability and the passion to commit and involve herself in the ownership of Blue Water. We enjoy a close cooperation, and we both attach great importance to our values. I also know that she will contribute to ensuring that my life’s work will be facing a prosperous future – for the benefit of all of us; our family, employees, clients and the surrounding community”, says Kurt Skov who has also decided to withdraw from his position of chairman of the Operational Board.
”We have seen a fantastic development, and I have enjoyed an immense amount of exciting and unforgettable experiences and moments with colleagues, customers and business partners during the past 50 years. I feel that our jubilee is the perfect occasion to announce that I will now step down as chairman in Blue Water – and continue as ordinary board member instead”, says Kurt Skov.
Kurt Skov will continue as chairman until a replacement is found. And when a new chairman takes up his/her duties – in the spring of 2024 at the latest – Anne Skov will become deputy chairman. Anne Skov is presently an ordinary member of the Operational Board.
Family ownership – a strong point
The family ownership is evident at all levels of Blue Water. Søren Nørgaard Thomsen – who has been the CEO of Blue Water since 2018 - actually believes that the family ownership structure and the strong values are vital factors for success and growth.
”Kurt’s values and ideas of how to run the business and how to act towards each other and our clients are the golden thread that runs though the entire company. It is obvious that Anne shares and rates these values highly, and I look forward to continuing the cooperation with her. One of the strengths of the foundation ownership and family ownership is that we can work along a long-range plan. We must of course stay competent and efficient, but all actions must be made with respect for the fundamental values, and this means a lot to our clients and employees”, says Søren Nørgaard Thomsen.
Grand jubilee celebration
The company’s jubilee will be celebrated in several ways. On the actual day – 1 September – we will have a reception for customers and business partners. On the same day, we will host a concert for children in the morning and a concert for the young ones and the adults in the evening. Also, a football show match will be played at Blue Water Arena in the evening.
On Saturday 3 September, there will be a celebration for all employees. Around 1400 colleagues from all over the world will meet in Esbjerg to celebrate the grand event – with a view to creating team spirit across the entire organisation.
”Community and team spirit mean an awful lot to us, and therefore it was only natural to invite all 2000 colleagues to a party in Esbjerg. It is not possible for all of them to participate, but we look forward to celebrating our jubilee together with 1400 colleagues – and to showing Esbjerg and our headquarters to many of these colleagues who have not been here before”. Says Søren Nørgaard Thomsen.
Blue Water Group
Key figures for 2021:
Turnover: 1bn EUR
Profit before tax: 18.9m EUR
Equity capital: 76.4m EUR
The Blue Water Foundation owns 75% af the company while the Skov family owns the remaining 25%
The Blue Water Foundation Board
Anne Skov (chairman), Kurt Skov, Gyrithe Skov
Preben Møller Nielsen, (deputy chairman), Niels Kaalund, Jesper Toft Mathiasen, Kathrine Kirk Muff
The Board of Directors Blue Water Holding
Kurt Skov (chairman), Jørgen Meyer (deputy chairman), Niels Kaalund (deputy chairman), Anne Skov, Torben Bjerre-Madsen, Merete Søby, Robert Steen Kledal
Executive Management Blue Water Shipping
Søren Nørgaard Thomsen (CEO), Flemming Busch (CFO), Dan Nissen (COO), Thomas Bek (COO)