New CEO at Frontline

Rob Almeida
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October 20, 2014

The VLCC “Front Duke”, file image (c) Frontline Tankers

Frontline Ltd (NYSE: FRO) the Bermuda-based crude oil shipping firm led by board chairman, John Fredriksen has brought on a new CEO to take the company forward. Mr. Robert Hvide Macleod, a 35-year old Norwegian citizen, is currently the managing director and owner of Highlander Tankers AS will take the top post on November 3rd.

FRO has seen its share price plummet this year from a high of around $5 in January to its current value of around $1.61. This year, spot charter rates for VLCCs and Suezmax tankers fell from around $40k per day to well under $20k during the second quarter. For Frontline, their break even rates for those ships are $24,000 per day and $17,800 per day, respectively.

Poten & Partners notes that changing global trade flows of oil as a result of the shale oil boom in the U.S. has been favorable to the Suezmax sector as trade routes to North West Europe, the Mediterranean and India have added ton-mile demand to the market.  “Barring a collapse in worldwide oil demand, Suezmax employment should remain fairly healthy in the coming years,” says Poten.

Fredriksen commented on the executive change-up:

“Through the engagement of Robert Hvide Macleod we have gained a talented individual with in-depth knowledge of both shipping and oil trading. Combined with his outstanding network throughout the tanker industry, we believe this will ensure that the Company remains the driving force in the industry.”

Macleod was employed by the AP Moller Group from 2002 to 2004 and Glencore-ST Shipping from 2004 to 2011. He holds a Maritime Business (Hons) degree from Plymouth University.

The current CEO of Frontline, Jens Martin Jensen has accepted a position where he will be in charge of the Sale & Purchase, Newbuilding and other maritime related projects of the Group.

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