An unexpected personnel decision announced today (26 March) by The International Air Cargo Association: Sebastiaan Scholte will step down as Chairman of the influential air freight association on July 1. This follows his announcement to exit Dutch logistics company Jan de Rijk, giving up his post as their CEO. At TIACA, Scholte will be replaced by Steven Polmans, Director Cargo and Logistics at Brussels Airport.
Sebastiaan Scholte took the helm at the TIACA board in 2017, after serving the cargo association for two and a half years as their Vice Chairman. He has no option to continue as TIACA’s helmsman
even if personally wanted because the organization’s bylaw demands that Board members must be trustee members of the cargo club, which is no longer the case as soon as Scholte has left Jan de
In a statement he said that “it was a great honor to have served as Chairman of the TIACA Board.” He went on to say: “The organization is financially healthy again and is strategically on the right track.”
An aspect that shouldn’t be underestimated because not very long ago TIACA was on the brink of insolvency, as board members confidentially confirmed to CargoForwarder Global, referring to the organization’s empty coffers. However, under Scholte’s chairmanship and in close coordination with Vice Chairman Steven Polmans and the other board members the organization managed through great efforts to reach a financial turnaround.
Their outstanding achievements were credited by Ram Menen, one of TIACA’s founding members, their past Chairman, and member of the Chairman’s Coucil: “Sebastiaan and Steven have done an admirable job to turn around TIACA against the odds and stabilize the organization," said Ram in a first comment following the upcoming personnel changes at TIACA’s top deck.
Four-year action plan to be continued
According to previous planning, Polmans was supposed to take up the TIACA Chairmanship at the association’s Annual General Meeting in Budapest, Hungary, taking place from 20 to 22 November 2019. But due to Scholte’s upcoming departure, Polmans succeeds him as TIACA Chairman on 1st July.
Commented the manager: “We very much regret that Sebastiaan is leaving, but of course respect his decision.” After praising the close cooperation with Scholte, he said: “Together we came up with a clear strategy and four-year action plan for the Association and I am proud to be able to take over a healthier and stronger TIACA.” Steven Polmans’ statement ended with a promise: “I am determined to continue working with the Board, the Chairman’s Council, and our members to deliver the action plan we started at the beginning of Sebastiaan’s Chairmanship.”
In a separate statement Jan de Rijk Logistics regretted Scholte’s decision to exit the company: "We appreciate Sebastiaan's contributions in helping to grow the company in a profitable way during his 9-year tenure,” said the owners Jan and Jacqueline de Rijk together with Willem Heeren, President of the supervisory board. “Sebastiaan has been an enthusiastic driving force in positioning the company and instrumental to the company’s success. We all wish Sebastiaan the very best.”
Sebastiaan Scholte will be available to assist with the transition through July 1st, announce the de Rijk owners.