BRAD MULHOLLAND / 1941-2007
Ex-Matson CEO ‘passionate about service to Hawaii’
C. Bradley Mulholland, former president and chief executive officer of Matson Navigation Co., died on Tuesday after a more than two-year battle with cancer.
He was 65 years old.
The self-described "surf bum," who most recently lived in Piedmont, Calif., joined Matson as an assistant booking clerk in 1965 after graduating from the University of Southern California.
He later moved up the ranks in a number of management positions before taking the helm as president for 12 years and CEO for 10 years.
His 38-year career with Matson included leading the freight division and the company's oldest subsidiary, Matson Terminals Inc.
"He worked as hard as anyone I've ever known," said Jim Sells, who was Mulholland's assistant in 1970 and later led a company that became a vendor to Matson.
"He was incredibly dedicated and very focused, but at the same time he kept a perspective that there was more to life than work."
Mulholland is survived by his wife, Leslie, and two grown children, Sara and Mark.
In 1998, Mulholland was promoted to executive vice president of Matson's parent company, Honolulu-based Alexander & Baldwin Inc. He later was board vice chairman of Matson Navigation as well as a director of both companies.
He retired in January 2004 and a year later launched Matson competitor OceanBlue Express Inc., which failed to get off the ground after Matson bought two container ships the company had planned to purchase.
Mulholland's career has been marked with new and innovative initiatives, including pioneering the concept of ocean carriers leasing and managing their own terminals to improve shipping services.
In 1999, he led a joint venture between Matson and SSA Marine, a marine terminal operator and stevedore company, combining port operations on the West Coast, which continues to be successful today.
"He was passionate about Matson and his service to Hawaii," said Jon Hemingway, chief executive officer of SSA Marine, who has been friends with Mulholland for 16 years. "He was a progressive thinker and a change agent in his industry and company."
He also exuded integrity, and was straightforward and honest throughout his career, Hemingway said, adding that Mulholland always treated co-workers and service providers with respect, no matter what position they held.
Hemingway recalls accidentally dialing Mulholland while in an internal meeting with SSA Marine colleagues who were negotiating the joint venture with Matson.
"Brad was trying to hang up and at the same time was trying to have his assistant get word to me that I had dialed him because he didn't want even the appearance that he was listening in on my conversation, even though it was my fault," he said.
Mulholland's passion for his work transcended into his personal life, particularly his love of sports. He was an avid surfer and marathon runner, and was eager to teach others what he had learned both personally and professionally.
"He was always ready and eager to share his vast knowledge of our industry and he had a natural gift as a teacher and mentor," said James Andrasick, who succeeded Mulholland as president and CEO of Matson.