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Published: 19 February 2010      

People on the move

There are some interesting top personnel changes to report in the European ports industry

Bremen's senator for economy and justice - the ministerial post that includes the Bremen ports' portfolio - Ralf Nagel (SPD), has resigned with immediate effect.

Nagel started his career in the German Navy and was then a state secretary for transport and traffic for the German state of Saxon-Anhalt. He filled the same position in the federal government followed by a partnership in a private commercial consultancy firm, before being appointed a senator in Bremen in 2007.

Disagreements with his political party are cited as reasons for his resignation. He was accused of showing "insufficient engagement in his official political position."

He is taken up the post of managing director of VDR – Verband Deutscher Reeder – the German Shipowners' Association in Hamburg, as a direct replacement for Dr Hans-Heinrich Nöll, who has been sacked.

Members of the VDR were of the view that Dr. Nöll had not acted strongly enough to defend and promote their interests in this time of the crisis. It is claimed that he failed to get any substantial financial support from the Berlin government for the troubled German shipping industry.

VDR's chairman Michael Behrendt said that Nagel has excellent connections in political circles and in the business world. The Bremen senate has appointed Martin Günthner as the new senator for economic and port affairs. He has been the SPD's spokesman in Bremen on port policy since 2002.

GPM de Marseille-Fos has appointed a Belgian, Dirk Becquart, currently dirctor of the Port of Gent, as director of development, a new post. This is the first time that such a high level position in any leading French port authority has gone to a non-French national. The post includes marketing responsibilities. The name of Becquart's replacement in Gent is not known at the time of writing.

Fred Kamperman, who in the past has served as terminal manager of both BCT Riga and general manager of the DCT Gdansk, has joined the Belgian Delphis Group as general manager of its Sjursøya Container Terminal affiliate in Oslo.

Charles Jonet was recently appointed president of the Port of Brussels, replacing Laurence Bovey.

A Friedrich Flender AG (Flender), Siemens' mechanical drives business unit, will soon have a new CEO. Manfred Egelwisse will be resigning at the end of March, reportedly at his own request. With effect from April 1, Dipl-Ing Theo Maas will take over.

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