heesen yachts ceo Neils Vaessen
Credit: Heesen Yachts

Niels Vaessen named new CEO of Heesen Yachts

24 October 2023 • by Gabrielle Lazaridis

Dutch shipbuilder Heesen Yachts has appointed Niels Vaessen as its new chief executive officer, effective 1 November 2023.

Vaessen joined Heesen as finance manager in 2012 and quickly progressed to chief financial officer within one year. Now with more than a decade of experience at Heesen, Vaessen brings with him an intimate grasp of the yard's principal identity and mission.

Arthur Brouwer, who has led Heesen since 2014, said he feels confident entering retirement knowing the yard will be left in capable hands. 

"Heesen needs a CEO with good industry knowledge, a well-connected network and a deep understanding of the shipbuilding process and the commercial dynamics," Brouwer explained. "Niels and I worked closely together for many years and have overcome some challenges. I am proud of the results we have accomplished. I wish Niels, Rick van de Wetering, Mark Cavendish and the whole team fair winds and following seas."

Brouwer's exit will coincide with the retirement of supervisory board chairman Anjo Joldersm, whose presence will be filled by Adse de Kock as of 1 November.

Heesen's 80m flagship Genesis was delivered in 2023
Credit: Ruben Griffioen

"I feel honoured to be entrusted with this responsibility, and I am grateful for the knowledge and insight I have gained while working with Arthur and Anjo," Vaessen said of his appointment. "I would like to thank them for the passion and work they have put into our company for all these years."

The announcement comes just after Heesen offered an update on its current business position, with an order book of 15 yachts stretching to 2027 and an annual turnover of €200 million.

"I am excited to contribute to the future successes of our shipyard, which is renowned for building ultra-technological superyachts. We are committed to investing in research and development to ensure that we continue to deliver the most innovative and reliable products to our clients," Vaessen added.