Seafood industry veteran Kevin Bixler is joining Peter Pan Seafood Co. this month as its first chief executive officer since the new owners acquired the company. He is to play a key role in producing sustainable seafood that benefits people and the oceans, company officials say.
Bixler most recently served as global director of group fish procurement with seafood product producer Thai Union Group, with company headquarters in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, where he led the company strategy on fish procurement.
He also serves on the board of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation and on the Legacy Foundation Advisory Board for the Rose Bowl.
“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,” company owner Rodger May said. “Since we brought Peter Pan under new ownership nearly two years ago, I’ve been handling many of the CEO duties. 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.”
Born into a fishing family, Bixler began learning about the industry over three decades ago while working on his father’s salmon troller. He grew up working on his family’s commercial fishing boats and avocado farms. At the University of California at Los Angeles, he played football and earned a degree in political science specialization in international relations.
Bixler joined Thai Union in 2006, first as director of procurement for Chicken of the Sea, until being promoted to vice president of procurement.
May, along with McKinley Capital Management’s Na’-Nuk Investment Fund and RRG Global Partners Fund, bought Peter Pan’s assets from Maruha Nichiro two years ago.
The company specializes in canned, frozen, and fresh salmon; king crab; tanner crab; Dungeness crab; halibut; Pacific cod; and Alaska pollock; with global sales and a brokerage network in the U.S. Its biggest brands are Demings, Double Q, Humpty Dumpty, Peter Pan, Oceanic, Gill-netter’s Best, SeaKist and Unica.