ONE appoints Jeremy Nixon as CEO, highest ranked foreigner in Japanese shipping history

Jeremy Nixon has become the highest ranked foreigner at any of the Japanese big three lines in a history that dates back to 1884. Nixon has taken the reigns as CEO of Ocean Network Express (ONE), the merged container company of Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), which will operate out of Singapore.

Nixon had previously headed up NYK’s container division.

Masahiro Tanabe, an executive vice president at MOL, will serve as chairman at ONE.

NYK, as the company with the largest box fleet among the three, has a 38% stake in ONE, with K Line and MOL holding 31% stakes each in the new venture.

Top executive positions at MOL, whose history dates back to 1884, NYK and K Line have traditionally always gone to long serving Japanese men. Nixon’s appointment is a very significant moment, and could herald also a culture change at ONE.

Nixon worked for P&O Nedlloyd from 1994 through to when it was bought out by Maersk in 2005. After just under three years at Maersk as vice president he jumped ship to NYK in 2008, where he rose through the ranks to become CEO of NYK Line, based in Singapore, in 2012.

Having formed a holding company in Tokyo and an operating company in Singapore on Friday, today ONE gave more details of the new  entity, which with a combined fleet of 1.44m slots will rank sixth in the world when it officially starts business in April next year.

Sales activity and a global promotional campaign for ONE will kick off this October, with bookings starting in February next year. ONE will form a key anchor at THE Alliance – a container grouping formed this April that also includes Hapag-Lloyd (and merger partner UASC), as well as Yang Ming.

In a 23-page presentation of the new company issued today ONE stated its goal was to provide the world’s highest level of service to enable it to exceed customer needs by developing an extensive network spanning 90 countries.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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