Shipyards Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku Swap Leadership

The Meyer Group announced Wednesday it will rotate leadership at its shipyards in Papenburg, Germany and Turku, Finland as the cruise ship builder grapples with market turmoil created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Effective after the summer, Jan Meyer, the CEO of Meyer Turku since 2014, will become Managing Director of Meyer Werft, while Tim Meyer, managing director of Meyer Werft since 2016, will take over as CEO at Meyer Turku.

The COVID-19 crisis has hit the cruise industry, and consequently shipyards, very hard, with global voyages at a virtual halt and newbuild ordering activity slowed dramatically.

In April, Meyer Turku said it started statutory talks to lay off up to 450 of its roughly 2,000 employees amid plans to slow its shipbuilding production in the wake of COVID-19.

The German shipbuilding group said in a statement Wednesday that “substantial and partially painful adjustments” are still needed.

“The acute situation caused by the corona crisis will require and lead to major changes on all yards. As these changes and new structures will be implemented, it is now a good timing to carry out a family internal leadership switch between Jan and Tim,” said Bernard Meyer, chairman of Meyer Turku Oy and managing director of Meyer Werft.

“We have to be always aware: If we take the right and bold steps, taking into account our changes, we will emerge stronger from this crisis than before,” he said.

“As a long term strategy of continuous exchange between the yards on all levels it was since the beginning planned to rotate the leadership at some suitable time in the future,” Bernard Meyer added.

“The three yards in Papenburg, Turku and Warnemünde are already working closely together. We are learning from each other by implementing knowledge and experience of all locations. Already today, we are seeing the benefits of this cooperation. The exchange of people between the locations is essential and a success factor for the future,” Jan Meyer said.

“The time at the shipyard has been very intensive and personally inspiring, we have made many changes and investments, faced and made through many challenges together with our teams and partners. And still some further challenges are remaining – especially with this new situation.

“We are now turning a new page at all our sites and need to seek also the opportunities in this crisis, implement many changes and at the same time strengthening our global functions, hence I am looking forward to push that change in Papenburg while staying involved with Turku through our cross-site collaboration.”

Tim Meyer said, “We are encouraging an exchange between the yards on all levels and want to act as role models here.

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