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An activist investor who had demanded that Panalpina remove its chairman, Peter Ulber, appears to have won the battle.

The Swiss forwarder has announced that Mr Ulber will not stand for re-election at the next AGM, on 9 May.

The company said its Compensation and Nomination Committee would conduct “a thorough and expeditious search process for a new independent chairman”.

Mr Ulber has been at Panalpina since 2013, when he was appointed president and CEO. He became chairman in 2016. Prior to that he held a variety of management roles at Kuehne + Nagel from 1985 to 2011.

He said: “This decision is in the best interest of Panalpina and all of its stakeholders. The long-term goals of the company are best served by electing an independent chairman of the board at this time to further improve on a best in class governance. This process will strengthen the company on its strategic path forward.”

Reuters reported last month that the founder of Panalpina’s second largest shareholder, Cevian Capital, with a 12.3% stake, had “run out of patience” with Mr Ulber, who had presided over a deflated share price. Panalpina retorted that the company had a “robust” strategy, and that the board was able to make decisions “independently and competently”.

But it appears to have changed its mind.

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