Ron Widdows tipped to take top job at HMM

Industry veteran Ron Widdows is one of the frontrunners for the vacant CEO position at Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM), which on Friday will make a fresh start as a subsidiary of Korea Development Bank (KDB).

Other candidates being considered are Yoo Chang-keun, CEO of Incheon Port Authority CEO; and Noh Jeong-ik, who served as HMM’s CEO from 2002 to 2008, according to reports from the Korea Herald.

But HMM’s creditors reportedly do not want to hire someone associated with the firm’s crisis and wish to change up the company’s management culture. Sources at KDB told press in June that the new CEO could be a foreigner.

Widdows served as the CEO of Rickmers Holding from 2012 to April 2014. Before that, he worked for 30 years at Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) and APL, rising to become NOL’s group president and CEO. He has served as chairman of the World Shipping Council since 2008.

HMM will list its new stock on the Korean Exchange tomorrow as part of its restructuring, ending the company’s 40-year link with the Hyundai Group.

KDB and other creditors of HMM will swap loans for stocks on August 5 giving the creditors a near 40% holding in South Korea’s second largest shipping line. Hyundai Group’s holding will shrink to just 0.5% on that day.

HMM told Splash it cannot comment on the CEO selection process as the decision is to be made “totally” by its creditors.


Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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