Hanrahan to Succeed Palmer as OBI Seafoods CEO

(Top left) John Hanrahan, Mark Palmer. (Left) Monica Hollenback. (Right) Tony Ross. Photos courtesy of OBI Seafoods.

Seattle-based OBI Seafoods in early November announced a change of command in its executive leadership. John Hanrahan is to become the company’s chief executive officer following the December retirement of CEO Mark Palmer, who has been with the company for 40 years.

Palmer began his career with Ocean Beauty as a truck driver in Boise and held numerous positions before becoming CEO in 2007. When Ocean Beauty merged with Icicle Seafoods in 2020 to become OBI, he became CEO of the new firm.

OBI also announced that Monica Hollenback was being promoted to chief financial officer, filling the vacancy left with the retirement of CFO Tony Ross in December.

Co-chairs Len Stewart and Robin Samuelson of the OBI board of directors said in a joint statement on Nov. 6 that the company had been fortunate to have Palmer and Ross as part of their executive team and appreciated their decades of commitment. 

They expressed confidence that Hanrahan and Hollenback would provide the necessary leadership for OBI to continue processing fresh, frozen and canned Alaska seafood.

Both Hanrahan and Hollenback have decades of experience with OBI and its predecessor Ocean Beauty Seafoods. Hanrahan started with Ocean Beauty in 1987 as a staff accountant and has worked in many operational and business development roles in his 36 years with the company. He became the chief operating officer of Ocean Beauty in 2007 and then OBI Seafoods’ COO, responsible for sales and operations in 2020.

Hollenback started with Ocean Beauty in 1993 and has served in multiple accounting and finance roles, most recently as controller of OBI. She has had extensive experience developing the company’s accounting teams and merging accounting systems, as well as managing banking and financial relationships for the company.

Palmer noted that he had learned from his co-workers in every part of the company over the years and was grateful to all of them. “This company has a great ownership team that supports the business, the management team and all our people. Under John Hanrahan’s leadership as CEO, we have a bright future ahead,” he said.

Ross began his career in 1988 at Booth Fisheries in Salt Lake City, which was soon purchased by Ocean Beauty. He moved to Seattle to become controller of distribution, then held various financial roles at Ocean Beauty, culminating in being named CFO in 2007. During his time with the company, he managed the mergers of Circle Sea, Landlock Seafoods and Ocean Beauty/Icicle. He became CFO of OBI when the company was formed in 2020.