June 26, 2006
Senior management changes at ABS
ABS Chairman and CEO Robert D. Somerville has announced that Admiral Robert E. Kramek, President and Chief Operating Officer of ABS, will retire effective December 31, 2006.
Christopher J. Wiernicki, currently President and Chief Operating Officer of ABS Europe, one of the three operating Divisions of ABS, has been selected to replace Kramek, effective January 1, 2007.
In making the early announcement, Somerville stressed the importance of continuity and stability to the organization's reputation and success.
Wiernicki, a 13 year veteran of ABS has held a number of senior positions within the organization in recent years including Chief Technology Officer and President and Chief Operating Officer of ABSG Consulting Inc., the principal operating subsidiary of the affiliated ABS Group of Companies, Inc. Prior to joining ABS, he was President and Chief Executive of Designers and Planners Inc., one of the leading naval architecture firms in the United States. He joined ABS in 1993 as Vice President of Engineering within the ABS Americas Division.
Wiernicki holds a BS degree in Civil Engineering from Vanderbilt University and Masters degrees in Structural Engineering from George Washington University and Ocean Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Additionally, he is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. He is a past chairman of various technical panels of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME).
Admiral Kramek is retiring after an eight year career with ABS, initially joining the society as President of the ABS Americas Division after serving as Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, from which he retired as a Four Star Admiral.
He became President and COO of the society in 2004.
Kramek is currently President-elect of SNAME and will continue his long association with the marine industry on assuming the Presidency of the society in 2007.
He will also continue to act as a consultant to ABS in specialized areas.
Joining Wiernicki within the corporate leadership circle of ABS on January 1, 2007 will be Todd Grove who will be promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff of the classification society at that time.
Grove is currently President and Chief Operating Officer of the ABS Americas operating Division.
Grove will replace Vincent F. (Bud) Roth who will be retiring after a distinguished 39 year career with ABS. Roth had also served as the ABS Americas Division President prior to assuming his current position in 1998.
The role and responsibilities of the position will be significantly expanded at the time of Grove's appointment and, like Wiernicki, he will report directly to ABS Chairman and CEO Robert Somerville.
Grove was named President of the ABS Americas Division in May of 2004. Prior to this appointment he served as Vice President Western Region, ABS Europe.
A 21-year-veteran of ABS, Grove has held a series of increasingly responsible positions within the organization's Pacific, European and Americas Divisions since joining as a Staff Engineer within the Ocean Engineering Department.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan's Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering program and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston.
Replacing Grove as President, ABS Americas, will be Rear Admiral Tom Gilmour who recently retired after 34 years with the United States Coast Guard. From 2003 until his retirement Gilmour served as Director of Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Protection at the agency. In that position he developed relevant policies and standards applicable to the marine and offshore industries, developed the national security regulations mandated by the Maritime Transportation Security Act and had responsibility for the related safety and security inspection programs. He also led the U.S. delegation to the International Maritime Organization.
Gilmour holds a BS degree from the US Coast Guard Academy and Masters degrees in Naval Architecture, Marine Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan. He will join ABS in early September.
James B. Liebertz continues in his position as President and COO of the ABS Pacific Division and as a member of the senior management team of ABS. Liebertz was appointed to the position in August of 2003.
These new appointments follow the recent announcement that Peter Tang-Jensen, former Executive Vice President of Odense Steel Shipyard, Ltd., will join ABS in October as Senior Vice President Technology.
Tang-Jensen will provide strategic leadership for the society's technology group which includes research and product development.
Tang-Jensen earned a Master of Science degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark and attended Harvard Business School as well as the Centre Europeen d'Education Permanente (CEDEP) in France for advanced business management training. He is a member of numerous boards and committees including serving as a Member of the Technical Advisory Committee for the Joint European Shipbuilding Organization, Deputy Chairman for Odense University College of Engineering and Member of the Board for the Independent Scandinavian Technical Research and Investigation Institute "Force Technology". Tang-Jensen has been a member of the ABS Technical Committee since 1997.
Commenting on the series of senior appointments, ABS Chairman Somerville said "We are very fortunate to be able to bring together such an extraordinarily experienced team to strengthen the overall leadership of ABS and establish the strategies that will carry us forward to future success. By bringing together the best of ABS' in-house talent in Chris Wiernicki and Todd Grove with the tremendous practical and regulatory experience of Admiral Gilmour and the commercial industry knowledge of Peter Tang-Jensen the future of ABS will be vested in a remarkable team of individuals with the balance and foresight that will be needed to face the many challenges of the future."