The former Jan de Rijk Logistics helmsman, Sebastiaan Scholte has been appointed CEO of the Kales Group, based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. His first day in office is today (23NOV20), Kales stakeholder, World Freight Company (WFC) announced in a press release issued this morning. Financed by private equity provider 3i, WFC had acquired the Kales Group back in 2011.
Sebastiaan Scholte has taken over the top job at Kales from Dirk Hazenoot. Long-time Kales CEO, Dirk Hazenoot decided to step down from his post after having worked for almost 20 years for the
Dutch general sales and service agent (GSSA), of which the last 2 years as Chief Exect. Officer. “I want to thank Dirk for all his years of hard work and dedication, helping to grow Kales
Group to become one of the leading GSSAs in the world”, said Vikram Singh, group CEO of WFC, who own Kales Group. “Sebastiaan will bring a wealth of relevant experience and expertise in
the airline and logistics industry. We are happy to have him on board to lead the organization successfully,” Mr. Singh commented.
“I am excited to join Kales Group,” Scholte states. “GSSAs play a crucial role in the air cargo supply chain, and Kales Group is a very well-known reputable brand in the market. I am looking forward to working with the Group’s airline partners and growing the business.”
2001 incepted Kales Group has become a household name in the industry. Currently, more than 30 offices in over 20 European countries represent the Group, with stations in Mumbai, Toronto, Quito, and Bogota complementing the international network. The company services more than 90 airlines, and accounts for handling 250,000 tons of cargo per annum. However, in recent times it has lost some accounts, among them Saudia Cargo, Norwegian an Iran Air, to name but three.
Scholte's task in the future will be to drive the GSSA's business forward, broaden the service package, and to place Kales further up front on the map of global cargo sales agents. He takes on the job in a situation where air freight is booming, but transport capacity is scarce due to the many passenger aircraft decommissioned through the COVID-19 pandemic, which means that belly capacity is a rare commodity, making ‘flown as booked’ and ‘delivered as promised’ performances sometimes a game of chance.
No need to move – geographically!
Sebastiaan Scholte is a cargo veteran with more than 20 years in the industry. Prior to his Jan de Rijk engagement, he held various senior management positions in Aeromexico Cargo and Cargolux Airlines. In July 2019, the high-profile manager left the road feeder company on his own wish “to pursue new opportunities outside the company,” as he stated at the time. Simultaneously, he announced that he would be stepping down as chairman of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), to be replaced by Steven Polmans shortly afterwards, Cargo and Logistics Chief of Brussels Airport.
In addition to mastering new tasks, Sebastiaan Scholte’s new assignment has another advantage: he does not have to move, because just like Jan de Rijk, Kales is based in Amsterdam.
CFG spoke to Sebastiaan Scholte following the announcement of his nomination. Here is what he said:
Which task has top priority on your agenda?
“Getting to know the organization, familiarizing myself with the processes, and exchanging ideas with the employees. I think that is the most important thing. I think I am humble enough to manage it. Kales is a highly professional organization with an excellent reputation. I didn't just realize that only today.”
And what follows immediately afterwards or happens in parallel?
“I am not the type of person who is satisfied with what has been achieved so far. If that were the case, then I would be the wrong choice. Instead, I am striving to expand the business and maintain contacts with existing customers to further deepen them. By the way, this is fully in line with the expectations of our stakeholders. We want to distinguish ourselves from the competition by offering state-of-the-art services and by delivering value day after day. Hence, a lot of work lies ahead.”
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