Stena Line, celebrating the 50th anniversary of its ferry debut, has made changes in top management, with Gunnar Blomdahl standing down after ten years as chief executive. He is replaced from 1 January by 46 year-old Carl-Johan Hagman, who was previously responsible for Stena Group shipping operations and also served as chairman of Stena Line, a role to which Dan Sten Olsson, the Stena Group chief executive and son of founder Sten A. Olsson, has now returned.

Gunnar Blomdahl hit the headlines in Britain last year when he worked incognito as a crew member on vessels from the Harwich, Birkenhead and Holyhead for a TV documentary and has been warmly praised for seeing the company through one of its most successful years, with 2012 profits increasing to the equivalent of £27.5 million.During his decade at the helm Stena have invested £1.1 billion in new tonnage and route expansion, including last year’s takeover of five Baltic routes. There has been substantial investment in British routes, with the 64,039gt Stena Britannica and Stena Hollandia introduced between Harwich and the Hook of Holland.

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