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Longtime Oldendorff CEO Peter Twiss Retires After Record-Setting Year

Oldendorff bulker
File image courtesy Oldendorff

Published Mar 21, 2023 10:40 PM by The Maritime Executive

German dry bulk specialist Oldendorff has replaced its CEO of 20 years, Peter Twiss, effective today. Twiss has decided to retire, Oldendorff said, in order to "make room at the top" for other employees to move up. Head of chartering Yannis Efstathiou is also said to be retiring. 

Twiss served Oldendorff Carriers for 28 years, beginning at its Concept Carriers subsidiary in 1995. He rose through the ranks to become co-CEO of the parent company, then sole CEO in 2023. 

According to Oldendorff, Twiss was known for empowering his subordinates to make their own decisions in a "bottom-up" management style. This paid off last year, when Oldendorff posted the best results in more than a century of continuous operation and expanded its shoreside head count by 10 percent. The company became the top player in several dry bulk trades as a result of this surge in performance, Oldendorff said. 

Twiss chose to retire on a high note and "leave when everything was in good order."

“Another main reason for leaving now is that I have trained and mentored many Oldendorff employees. They have made me very proud, and I want them to have the same opportunities that I had when I was younger. By making room at the top, it gives employees a chance to move up," he said. 

Twiss has been replaced by longtime Oldendorff executive Patrick Hutchins, who has overseen the company's commercial teams in all segments, most recently in the Capesize division. He has been with the firm since 1999. 

"For more than 25 years, Peter and I enjoyed a close working relationship, built on trust and friendship, for which I will be forever grateful. Together with our people and our global board, we have enjoyed countless adventures and weathered many storms. Peter will be around to support and assist the new CEO for as long as is required," said chairman Henning Oldendorff in a statement. 

Peter chose to retire now because the job of President and CEO of Oldendorff Carriers is a challenging one and Peter gave it his all for more than 20 years. He wanted to leave when everything was in good order. Peter always said: “Timing is everything in shipping”. He also said: “Another main reason for leaving now is that I have trained and mentored many Oldendorff employees. They have made me very proud, and I want them to have the same opportunities that I had when I was younger. By making room at the top, it gives employees a chance to move up.”

In the words of company chairman Henning Oldendorff: "Thanks to Peter's leadership and constant coaching, the company is in an excellent shape and running on all cylinders. Peter chose this moment, making sure he is handing over a robust company."

Henning commented "For more than 25 years, Peter and I enjoyed a close working relationship, built on trust and friendship, for which I will be forever grateful. Together with our people and our global board, we have enjoyed countless adventures and weathered many storms. Peter will be around to support and assist the new CEO for as long as is required."

Patrick Hutchins brings with him a wealth of experience, having overseen the commercial teams at Oldendorff Carriers for all trades and all different vessel sizes, most recently heading the Capesize segment. He joined the company in October 1999 and was a founding board member in 2007. Patrick stated: “This handover is a celebration for the wonderful things Peter Twiss has achieved in his tenure as CEO at Oldendorff Carriers. He leaves the company in the best of shape, and I sincerely believe we can build on his achievements to take the company forward.”

Due to Patrick's experience and leadership skills, it was a natural decision for the board to appoint him as the next CEO. Patrick will relocate to Germany and seeks to expand on Peter's success.