Kirsi Tikka to head up ABS Europe Division

Kirsi TikkaABS Vice President and current Chief Engineer Dr. Kirsi Tikka is transferring to London to assume the role of President and COO of the ABS Europe Division. The division is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the classification society throughout Scandinavia, Northern and Southern Europe, the British Isles, the wider Mediterranean region and Africa. Dr.Tikka, a native of Finland, takes over from John McDonald who is transferring to Houston as Vice President and Chief of Staff of the organization.

"Kirsi Tikka brings an unmatched combination of technical knowledge, client focus and operational understanding to this position," says ABS President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. "She is very well known throughout the region, with very strong client contacts. Her appointment allows us to further strengthen the delivery of the growing range of our classification products and services to the European market, including energy efficiency and environmental solutions for regulatory requirements."

Dr. Tikka has previously served as the society's Vice President of Global Technology and Business Development, Vice President of Technology and as Vice President of Engineering within the ABS Europe Division. Prior to joining ABS she gained direct operational experience with Chevron Shipping. She holds a Doctorate in Naval Architecture and Offshore Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Mr. McDonald brings a similar broad range of operational and client service experience to his new role as Chief of Staff at the society's global headquarters. He has been with ABS for more than 15 years and has held several leadership positions prior to his European tenure including District Manager for the US Central District and Assistant Chief Surveyor for Naval Programs.

"John McDonald brings direct operational knowledge and a strong client-oriented perspective to the challenge of constantly improving ABS service delivery," said Mr. Wiernicki. "We are a global organization and it is important that we have wide-ranging experience in our senior management team. McDonald's experience in Europe will be extremely important as he evaluates and recommends new approaches that will further accentuate the superiority of ABS' services in the rapidly evolving and demanding marine and offshore classification sectors."


Separately, ABS announced that its Middle East Region, headquartered in Dubai, will now fall under the ABS Pacific Division, headquartered in Singapore rather than ABS Europe, headquartered in London.

"Given the manner in which the operational, financial and trading patterns are emerging between the entire Middle East region, the Indian Sub-continent and Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore and Malaysia, this new structure will allow us to offer a more seamless, integrated delivery of services and products to our clients within this wider geographic area," says Mr. Wiernicki.

Joe Brincat will continue in his role as Regional Vice President of the Middle East. "Many of our clients are expanding into the India-South East Asia region and this realignment allows ABS to maintain a client-centric perspective in our service delivery," Brincat said. "Although we already work closely with our colleagues in India and Singapore, this new structure will strengthen those ties and promote greater efficiencies and integration to the benefit of ABS clients in both regions."

The new arrangement is effective immediately and ABS Pacific Division President and COO Eric Kleess will be visiting the area in the near future to meet with shipowners, repairers, offshore rig builders and other clients.

April 19, 2012

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