Sam Woodward was named president and CEO of domestic ocean carrier Horizon Lines, succeeding Stephen H. Fraser, who served as interim president and CEO since March 2011.
Woodward, 63, held several executive posts at Traffic Tech, an international freight forwarder. He also has served as managing director and head of the transportation and business process outsourcing practice at Bengur Bryan & Co.; chairman and CEO of Gemini Air Cargo; president of SAW Investment Services; and senior vice president of operations and planning at YRC Worldwide.
Horizon Chairman Jeffrey A. Brodsky praised Fraser for leading Horizon “through a very challenging period.” Fraser took over after the company’s guilty plea to an antitrust charge for price-fixing in the Puerto Rico trade. The company recently completed a multistep refinancing and last year shut down a money-losing trans-Pacific service.
Woodward said Horizon’s refinancing allows the company “to focus on the business of the business … Horizon is a critical part of many shippers’ supply chains, which gives it a unique position in the marketplace. Its longstanding and excellent relationships with many, many shippers allows it to go to market with something other than a commodity sell.”
He said the refinancing has given Horizon breathing space to focus on improving the company’s core operations in Jones Act trades between the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico, Alaska and Hawaii. Horizon plans eventually to seek another round of refinancing to reduce its interest payments. “We’ll do it when it makes sense,” Woodward said. “There is no rush to do it immediately.”