The International Businessman


It is without doubt that no other Danish business person has had such a large and so significant a network as Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller. The first contacts were made during his apprenticeships, but he learned the importance of meeting in the right forum to exchange ideas and experience when in the USA during 1940-1947. It was especially after taking over the leadership of the A.P. Moller Group in 1965 that Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller sought inspiration in various international groups and organisations.

Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller grew up in an international home. His mother, Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller, was born in the USA and his father, A.P. Møller, went abroad at an early age and was already the manager of a company with significant international activities when Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller was born in 1913. Like his father, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller also had the opportunity to perfect his skills away from Denmark. From 1933 to 1938 Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller worked in a number of recognised enterprises within brokerage, shipping and banking in Hamburg, Glasgow, London and Paris before returning to Copenhagen.

Time in the company’s headquarters at Kongens Nytorv in Copenhagen was short, because shortly after the occupation of Denmark by German troops in April 1940 it was decided that Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller would travel to New York with the purpose of operating those vessels that were outside Danish waters. The extraordinary situation prompted that Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller was made partner in Firmaet A.P. Møller (the managing partnership of the A.P. Moller Group) on 24 May 1940 and when it was clear that it would not be possible to reach an agreement with the US Administration about the use of the vessels, that were requisitioned for war use, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller concentrated on preparing for post-war activities. Upon returning to Denmark in 1947, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller gradually took over the daily management of parts of the Group’s activities, among these Maersk Line, where he initiated the expansion of the liner network and the establishment of own office around the world.

After the death of A.P. Møller in 1965, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller continued to develop his insight in international affairs to support the expansion of the Group, without loosing the focus on relevant Danish issues where A.P. Moller had interests. Numerous business trips, where staff at the Group’s local offices introduced Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller to important partners in business and politics, did not only establish the state of the world in the universe of Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, but also placed Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller and the company, he represented, in the universe of those he met.

The increased importance and exposure of the A.P. Moller Group made it possible for Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller to obtain membership of various organisations where ideas and experiences were shared with leaders of other enterprises to the benefit of the business, as did the many meetings with heads of government in countries where the A.P. Moller Group is active.