BY APB Staff on 26 Oct 2023

The Dutch shipyard has chosen to promote internally, as Arthur Brouwer hands over the reins.

Niels Vaessen CEO of Heesen Yachts (3)

Niels Vaessen takes over as Heesen’s CEO from November 1.

Dutch boatbuilder Heesen Yachts has appointed a new chief executive, effective from November 1 2023.

Niels Vaessen, who has served as a CFO of the shipyard for more than a decade, takes over the position of CEO from outgoing chief executive Arthur Brouwer, who is retiring.

Vaessen joined Heesen in 2012 as the firm’s finance manager, after working at PwC for eight years. In 2013, the board appointed him as the CFO, a position he still holds today.

Brouwer has been at the helm of Heesen since 2014. Under his leadership, the shipyard says it has strengthened its position as a leader in the superyacht industry and modernised its portfolio. Brouwer has also navigated the company through the challenges posed by the Covid pandemic and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Heesen, which has a workforce of 1,000, builds full-custom superyachts and series on speculation from 50 to 80 metres in steel and aluminium. Heesen has an order book of 15 yachts, with deliveries spanning through 2027. Brouwer leaves a company with an annual turnover of approximately €200m.

READ: Heesen Yachts transfers Russian ownership to Dutch foundation

At the same time, supervisory board chair Anjo Joldersma has also indicated that it is time for his retirement. From November 1, Adse de Kock will be the new supervisory board chair.

“I had the privilege to work in many different and interesting industries,” says Brouwer. Yachting is an exciting business, and it seems to be the perfect sector for ending my active career. I am leaving a healthy company with a robust and well-organised structure in good hands.

“Heesen needs a CEO with good industry knowledge, a well-connected network, and a deep understanding of the shipbuilding process and the commercial dynamics.

“Niels and I worked closely together for many years and have overcome some challenges. I am proud of the results we have accomplished. I wish Niels, Rick van de Wetering, Mark Cavendish and the whole team fair winds and following seas”.

Niels Vaessen CEO of Heesen Yachts

Vaessen adds: “I feel honoured to be entrusted with this responsibility, and I am grateful for the knowledge and insight I have gained while working with Arthur and Anjo. I would like to thank them for the passion and work they have put into our company for all these years.

“I am excited to contribute to the future successes of our shipyard, which is renowned for building ultra-technological superyachts. We are committed to investing in research and development to ensure that we continue to deliver the most innovative and reliable products to our clients.

“As one of the largest employers in Noord-Brabant, we will continue to collaborate with our local community and contribute to the development of our region. Our worldwide success has deep roots in our hometown and is the result of great teamwork by our highly skilled people.”

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