The following is the text of a press release issued by the American Bureau of Shipping:
(HOUSTON) — ABS, the leading provider of classification services to the global offshore and marine industries, announces a change in leadership with the election of Christopher J. Wiernicki, currently President and Chief Executive Officer of ABS, to the position of Chairman of ABS. This decision was made by the ABS Board of Directors, who voted at their April meeting to transfer the additional duties of Chairman to Wiernicki.
“I appreciate the confidence expressed by the ABS Board of Directors in naming me Chairman,” Wiernicki says, “and I look forward to proving each day of my tenure that their trust has been well placed.”
With the expanding scope of classification in recent years, it is clear that the role of class will continue to change at an accelerated pace, and Wiernicki is optimistic about the organization’s ability to meet this challenge.
“ABS is determined to be the leader in defining the role of class in this new environment and will continue to partner with industry in targeted research and development efforts that address operational challenges in today’s exacting frontiers,” Wiernicki says. “Innovation will be the focus of ABS’ entire global technology program,” he says.
“Today’s playing field is being framed by regulatory initiatives, new technologies and customers who want their preferred class society to be better integrated within their operational and safety programs. ABS has to be positioned to continue to promote the security of life and property at sea and the natural environment in a constantly changing regulatory and technological environment.” he says.
Wiernicki is eager to take on the challenges that lie ahead. “My primary goal will be to ensure that ABS is at the forefront when it comes to providing the innovative products and efficient services that will define ABS as the class society of the future,” he says.
This transfer of responsibilities to Wiernicki from ABS Chairman Robert D. Somerville is the final step in a carefully planned leadership transition strategy that has been executed over the past two years. The effective date of the transition is 1 May 2013.
Separately, the Board of Directors of ABS Group of Companies, Inc. a subsidiary of ABS, also elected Wiernicki to the position of Chairman.
Wiernicki, a 20-year veteran of ABS, joined the company in 1993 as Vice President of Engineering within the ABS Americas Division. Other senior positions include President and COO of ABS Europe Ltd., Chief Technology Officer and President and COO of ABS Group of Companies, Inc.
Wiernicki holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Vanderbilt University, an MS in Structural Engineering from George Washington University and an MS in Ocean Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Wiernicki is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.