Hapag-Lloyd mourns the loss of former Executive Board chairman Hans Jakob Kruse, who led the company from 1973 until 1993.
On February 4, Hans Jakob Kruse died in Hamburg at the age of 84. He was the chairman of the Hapag-Lloyd Executive Board for two decades from 1973 until 1993.
“Hapag-Lloyd is mourning the loss of a visionary and beloved chairman, whose substantial contribution shaped our company as well as the global shipping industry,” said Michael Behrendt, Chairman of the Executive Board of Hapag-Lloyd. “He rendered outstanding services to our Company, which will always be remembered.”
Following an apprenticeship as a shipping agent, Hans Jakob Kruse began his career in 1964 as a representative of Hapag and Norddeutscher Lloyd in Australia. In 1967 he returned to Germany as the head of Canada and Australia services. In 1969 he was named a full member of the Executive Board. From 1973 until 1993, Hans Jakob Kruse was the chairman of the Hapag-Lloyd Board.
He played a significant role in the merger of Hapag and Norddeutscher Lloyd and turned Hapag-Lloyd into one of the world’s largest container shipping companies. During his time, Hans Jakob Kruse was also responsible for the forward-looking development of Hapag-Lloyd’s tourism investments, in particular its charter airline. As one of the central figures in the world of international shipping, he represented the company in the transport and tourism industries' most important institutions, including as Chairman of the International Council of Containership Operators (ICCO), also known as the ‘Box Club’, which he founded in the mid 1970s.
Following his retirement, Hans Jakob Kruse continued to contribute to the Company, initially as a member of the Supervisory Board and later on the Advisory Committee. The Schleswig-Holstein native was also politically engaged in his adopted home state of Hamburg as a member of the city-state’s parliament.