Interview with Dr. John Coustas

President and Chief Executive OfficerDanaos Corporation

"During the past, we saw significant growth in Europe, but that growth was largely fuelled by debt. Now, in order to move from growth that is fuelled by debt, to growth that is fuelled by investment and productivity, we need to change labour relations. We’re very much in need of deep structural changes."

"I’m not confident about growth. Growth through debt is no longer a viable option. That’s the reason I don’t see a quick recovery because debt is accumulating and nothing is done about it."

"The Internet is now a mature technology. And as I look around today - and perhaps three years out - I really don’t see anything that might has the potential to drive change to the same degree that the Internet did during its formative stages."

"In this environment, most companies just want to be on safe ground and stay in preservation mode, rather than go for expansion. To be honest, it’s better to be in a cash-rich position. We are simply in an environment where it is very difficult to identify the risks we might face."

"Financing is important - but it’s the first time we’ve see the banking system in such a mess. How can you expand an economy without bank debt? It’s just not possible. Rather than imposing things in a forceful way, we need to give the process of deleveraging more time."

"As far as the global economy is concerned, the threat is the start of economic stagnation, which, in turn, could encourage protectionism across the various economic blocks. The solution to stagnation is not protectionism. Instead, the solution lies in structural changes that will unlock productivity and growth potential."

"What’s happening in the shipping industry has nothing to do with the situation in Greece. Our business correlates to what’s happening in the world. Nevertheless, we are considering some alternative operational sites outside Greece - and that’s something we’ve never before contemplated."

"The number one thing that will make people more at ease is transparency. Being a public company, the preservation of transparency is an inherent obligation for us. We keep in touch with our customers in order to understand their needs. Everything is interconnected."


John is the President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Danaos Corp. He has over 25 years of experience in the shipping industry. He assumed management of the company in 1987 from his father, Dimitris Coustas, who founded Danaos Shipping in 1972. John is also a member of the board of directors of Danaos Management Consultants and The Swedish Club.
He holds a degree in Marine Engineering from National Technical University of Athens and a Master's degree in Computer Science and a PhD in Computer Controls from Imperial College, London.
  These interviews contain the opinions and views of the CEOs interviewed, and do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of PwC.


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