APL said today that 29-year veteran Bob Sappio, head of the shipping line’s PanAmerican Trades, will leave the company August 1 to remain in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sappio has been the head of APL’s Trans-Pacific Trade since 2003. He played a key role in establishing APL as the leader in the Trans-Pacific and in building its brand reputation for high-quality service in the industry, said Ron Widdows, CEO of parent company NOL Group.
“I’ve devoted my entire career to APL – a company I have tremendous affection and respect for,” said Sappio, who joined the container carrier in 1982. “But family priorities are most important, and I’ve made the decision to stay closer to home and remain in California where my family has established deep roots.”
Sappio guided APL to a top market share position in the route between Asia and the U.S. West Coast. He worked closely with key multinational customers and was APL’s representative to carrier groups such as the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement. In 2010, Sappio represented the industry at congressional hearings in Washington, D.C., on container shipping.
“Bob’s contributions working closely with me on issues not only of importance to our company, but the industry and our customers, were invaluable,” said Widdows. “He has helped us grow our business, improve our service and strengthen our relationships with many of the world’s most important shippers. He leaves a lasting imprint on this company and parts with our thanks for a job well done.”
Added NOL Executive Director Ng Yat Chung, who will become CEO when Widdows retires from his position at the end of 2011, “While we will miss Bob’s passion and drive, we have built the best team in the business. Our focus on taking care of our customers’ service needs at a level they have come to expect will continue to set APL apart in this important trade.”
Sappio will be replaced in the Trans-Pacific by 22-year APL veteran Steve Schollaert, APL’s Executive Vice President of Intermodal Strategy and former head of its Asia-Europe Trade. Schollaert, who has a background in operations and was also responsible for APL’s terminals, will be based in Phoenix. He will report to Liner Trade Management Senior Vice President Dave Appleton.
“We’re pleased to select an executive with the broad experience that Steve has to head our Trans-Pacific Trade,” said APL President Eng Aik Meng. “I’m confident he will build on the legacy Bob leaves behind in this company and in the industry.”