Ardmore Shipping founder Anthony Gurnee to retire

Ardmore Shipping has revealed its “leadership succession planning” that has been long-established and extensively discussed at the board and management levels, as founder and chief executive Anthony Gurnee announced his intention to retire from his executive and board positions later this year.

A “comprehensive selection process” has resulted in the board of the company appointing the current executive and chief commercial officer Gernot Ruppelt as the company’s new chief executive officer from September 16, the company said.

Chief financial officer Bart Kelleher’s role will be expanded by taking on the additional role of president, which will also take effect from September 16.

Following his retirement from the company, current chief executive Anthony Gurnee will remain available to Ardmore as an advisor during the transition period.

In connection with their promotions, both Ruppelt and Kelleher will be joining the board of directors of the company.

Ruppelt will maintain responsibility for Ardmore’s commercial platform until such time as a successor is selected. Kelleher will maintain his role as the company’s chief financial officer until such time as the board appoints a successor, after which finance and accounting will remain among his responsibilities.

Gernot Ruppelt currently serves as senior vice president and chief commercial officer at Ardmore, where he has built up, led and developed Ardmore’s global commercial platform.

Ruppelt joined Ardmore as chartering director in 2013 and was promoted to senior management one year later.

Before joining Ardmore, Ruppelt was a tanker projects broker with Poten & Partners in New York.

Previously, he held various roles up to trade manager for AP Moller-Maersk and Maersk Broker in the United States, Europe and Asia. Ruppelt serves on the board of Anglo Ardmore Ship Management, and he was chairman for Intertanko’s commercial markets committee from 2018 through 2024.

On the other hand, chief financial officer Bart Kelleher’s role will be expanded to include that of president. Prior to joining Ardmore in 2022, Kelleher served as chief executive at stainless-steel chemical tanker company Chembulk Tankers, as well as COO at Suezmax crude carrier company Principal Maritime.

Earlier, Kelleher held roles in banking and equity research in the maritime and energy-related industries at Bear Stearns and HSH Nordbank. He also held management positions in both the cruise industry and at a naval architecture firm, as well as serving as a deck officer onboard US-flag crude oil tankers.

Kelleher serves as a director of methanol-to-hydrogen technology developer Element 1 Corporation, and as an advisory board member to OrbitMI, an AI-based fleet performance management solution provider.