New CEO for Peter Pan Seafood
Kevin Bixler, the new CEO of Peter Pan Seafood.
Since a new management group took over Peter Pan Seafood in late 2020, owner Rodger May has been in charge using the title Chief Growth Officer. Now the fish processing company has a CEO in the C-suite, too.
From Deck to Desk
Peter Pan Seafood selected Kevin Bixler as the new chief executive officer, effective in November. Bixler has a lifetime of seafood industry knowledge, being born into a commercial fishing family.
Bixler’s father owned and fished a salmon troll vessel in the ‘60s before owning and operating tuna vessels. The youngest of five children, Bixler grew up working on his family’s commercial fishing vessels and avocado farms. He went to college at UCLA, where he played football and earned a degree in political science with a focus on international relations.
Bixler most recently served as global director of group fish procurement at Thai Union Group, the first centralized function in the international conglomerate. He has worked in leadership positions at Thai Union since 2006, beginning as the director of procurement for its US branch, Chicken of the Sea, and was quickly promoted to vice president of procurement. Bixler was the youngest person to be promoted to that level in the company’s history.
“Kevin’s experience at Thai Union, a global seafood leader, and his other various roles in the industry make him a natural fit for Peter Pan,” says May.
Bixler will work at Peter Pan Seafood’s headquarters in Bellevue, Washington.
“I am proud and excited to take on the role of CEO at Peter Pan Seafood,” Bixler says. “I’m looking forward to working closely with the entire team at Peter Pan to continue growing the company and going the extra mile for employees, fleet, community, and customers. I am also deeply committed to sustainability, something that is very in line with Peter Pan’s values as well.”
Bixler was elected in 2021 to chair the boards of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation and the International Seafood Sustainability Association, both of which focus on tuna fisheries. Bixler also served in board and advisory roles for the American Fisherman’s Research Foundation, Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission.
Hiring a new CEO takes some pressure off May, who has been performing many of those functions at Peter Pan Seafood for nearly two years. “We have seen significant growth under the new ownership and the timing couldn’t be better to bring Kevin and his skill set on, and hand over some of those duties while I continue to focus on growth,” says May. “I’m confident Kevin will be a great leader for the company in our commitment to customer devotion, working with key stakeholders and providing the best service and support to our fleet.”
Peter Pan Seafood was established in 1898 and operates processing and support facilities in Valdez, Dillingham, Naknek, Port Moller, Sand Point, and King Cove. Japanese seafood conglomerate Maruha Nichiro sold the company to May’s Northwest Fish, backed by McKinley Capital Management and RRG Capital Management.