Arnout Damen takes over as head of the Dutch shipyards group

Arnout Damen has become the new CEO of Damen Shipyards Group, which includes Dutch yacht-builder Amels. At the same time, the company is switching to a divisional structure to serve the market more effectively and efficiently.

Arnout Damen takes over from René Berkvens, who has been CEO of Damen Shipyards Group for more than 13 years. “We are extremely indebted to René for his commitment as our company’s top executive,” said Kommer Damen. “Under his leadership, Damen has grown into a globally operating, leading player. We are therefore pleased that he continues to use his knowledge, network and experience for the company in preparation for his accession to the Supervisory Board.”

Arnout Damen has been preparing for the move to CEO for many years. Over the past nine years he has been a member of the group’s Executive Board, responsible for operations and commercial affairs. With his appointment the Damen family expands its control over the group.

In his new position as CEO, Arnout’s first priority is the further implementation of the divisional structure. “Damen is known as an innovative and dynamic company that works very closely with its clients. We would like to maintain this,” Arnout explains. “With the growth of recent years, the switch to a divisional structure has become logical to remain close to the various markets and to further expand our leading position in the fields of quality, digitalisation and sustainability.”

In his position as chief commercial officer, Arnout Damen is succeeded by Jan-Wim Dekker. Damen Shipyards Group operates 36 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 12,000 people worldwide. The Amels superyacht building facilities located at Vlissigen have been part of the Damen group since 1991 and can offer fully custom superyachts up to 200m in length as well as the Limited Edition range of semi-custom yachts with short delivery times using the full resources of the Damen Group in terms of research and development.

Another member of the Damen family, Rose Damen, is the managing director of Damen’s yachting division which includes Amels superyachts and the Damen Yacht Support and SeaXplorer vessels.