James E Thompson
Founder and Chairman of the Crown Worldwide Group
James E. Thompson is the Chairman and Founder of the Crown Worldwide Group. After graduating from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering, Jim arrived in Asia in 1963. Within two years he established Crown in Yokohama, Japan – with just US$ 1000 . He moved to Hong Kong in 1978. Today, the Crown Worldwide Group employs over 5,000 full-time staff around the world, as well as a large number of contracted personnel.
Awards and recognition
Crown has been awarded the prestigious Hong Kong Award for Services in Export Marketing, and has twice received the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce Innovative Services Award. The company has also received the DHL/South China Morning Post International Award as Hong Kong’s Best International Company.
A prominent figure in both the relocation industry and in his adopted home of Hong Kong, Jim’s past roles include being a board member of Ocean Park Corporation; a member of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council; the Chairman of HKTDC Logistics Services Advisory Committee; a member of the Hong Kong Trade and Industry Advisory Board; and a member of the ICAC Advisory Committee on Corruption. He also served two terms as the Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. Jim is heavily involved with various university mentorship programs including HK University, Chinese University and HK Federation of Business Students. He is also a Council Member of the Hong Kong Management Association. Jim often serves as a delegate representing Hong Kong on numerous Hong Kong Trade Development Council trade missions around the world.
Jim is a member of many prestigious organizations including the Investment Promotion Ambassador Scheme of InvestHK; the Hong Kong-EU Business Cooperation Committee; Hong Kong-US Business Council; Hong Kong-Japan Business Cooperation Committee; HK University of Science and Technology's (HKUST) Business School Advisory Council; City University of Hong Kong's College International Advisory Board.
Charities and the community
A passion shared by Jim and his wife Sally, is helping the people of underserved communities – in particular, working with charities that focus on children, health and education. He serves as chairman or board member of numerous charitable organizations, including being on the Corporate Fundraising Committee of the Changing Young Lives Foundation; the head of Community Business Leadership Team; and a member of the Executive Committee of the Society for the Promotion of Hospice Care. He is also on the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army.
Gold Bauhinia Star
In 2013, Jim was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star for his lifelong contribution to the Hong Kong community. The Gold Bauhinia Star is the second highest award under Hong Kong’s honor system. It is awarded by the Hong Kong Government to recognize those who have given distinguished service to the community or rendered public or voluntary services of a very high degree of merit.
Jim is a U.S. citizen and a permanent resident of Hong Kong having lived there for 34 years. His two children Jennifer and James Jr. work for Crown New York and Crown Beijing respectively.
Executive Board Member
Ken Madrid is the Chief Executive Officer for Asia-Pacific, the Chief Financial Officer for Crown Worldwide Group. He is also a member of the Executive Management Group.
Ken is in charge of 112 operations located throughout Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Ken is responsible for the financial management of the company and shares worldwide responsibility with the additional board members for the strategic development and overall management of the company.
His career in the logistics industry began in 1976 when he joined United States Lines, a container steamship carrier, as a management trainee in their New York office. While at the company, he held management positions in corporate marketing and corporate development before being transferred to California where he was appointed Manager of Financial Planning for the company’s Pacific operations.
In 1984 Ken returned to New York to join U.S. Lines (S.A.), a new corporation formed by the acquisition of two other shipping lines, and was appointed to Group Controller. He then went on to work for American President Lines as the Director of Corporate Planning and was also a member of their Quality Committee.
Six years later, Ken relocated to Hong Kong and joined Crown as Chief Financial Officer and member of the Executive Committee. In 1994, he was appointed Executive Vice President and, in 2003, was appointed CEO of the Asia-Pacific region.
Ken has been instrumental in offering Crown employees the tools and resources they need to enhance their careers and to understand the importance of quality and why it is essential for a company’s overall success.
Executive Board Member
David Muir has been the Chief Executive Officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) since 2003 (after serving as CEO of the Americas since 1998). He was appointed to Crown’s Executive Board in 2000.
Overseeing Crown’s 75 operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, David shares worldwide responsibility with the Board for the strategic development and overall direction of the company, including the Crown Relocations, Crown Records Management, Crown Fine Art and Crown Logistics divisions.
David’s career in international relocations began in 1980 while chairing the Round Table, a charitable organization based in the UK. He was responsible for leading relief efforts to victims of natural disasters including an earthquake in southern Italy.
Before joining Crown, David was Managing Director for Allied Pickfords Moving Services in the UK. He joined Allied in 1990 as Marketing Director for Europe. His responsibilities included opening new operations, integrating acquisitions, and developing records management services.
In 1996, David joined Crown as Senior Vice President of the Western Region of the United States. He managed the opening of strategic new operations throughout the Americas including the USA, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile. More recently the development focus has been on Africa and the Middle East. David is a regular speaker at industry related conferences and human resources seminars in Europe and USA.
David is a British national who travels extensively and is based in Prague, Czech Republic with his wife Audrey. They have four children. In 2009, David and his teenage son planted a Crown flag at the North Pole.
Executive Board Member
In January 2016 Jenny was appointed Regional Managing Director of North America, in which she leads and facilitates Crown’s brand strategies across the US and Canada. In October 2016 Jennifer joined the Executive Board where she provides ongoing strategic guidance for the Crown Worldwide Group.
Jennifer has been with Crown since 1993, holding several key positions including sales management roles in the USA, Singapore and Japan – and Global Marketing Director. Previously, as the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for eight years, Jennifer was responsible for developing and executing a global strategy to support Crown's environmental commitments and benchmarking our progress in annual sustainability reports. Other notable achievements in this role include securing our UN Global Compact membership and successfully implementing Crown’s Golden Relay; our largest community outreach event, which engaged over 2,200 participants in 65 offices and 53 countries, exceeding fundraising targets by over 100%.
Translating her valuable knowledge and insights into everyday business, Jenny is recognized among her peers in the industry. She has spoken at conferences held by the United Nations, the Federation of International Movers (FIDI), and has been interviewed on CNN. She also holds a Global Mobility Specialist certification from the Worldwide ERC®.
Born and raised in Japan and Hong Kong, Jennifer is multilingual. She is a graduate of Columbia University and has over 20 years of experience in global mobility.
Executive Board Member
As a member of Crown’s Executive board, Barry is actively shaping the face of Crown today, and leading us into the future. Barry is responsible for the deployment of the vision and strategy through Crown’s global business. These guiding principles will be the roadmap that drives us towards achieving our strategic objectives through 2020 and beyond.
Barry has had a long and successful career with Crown, starting in 1996 when he joined Crown as the General Manager for Central Scotland. Since then Barry has advanced throughout the organization; each step with an increasing scope of work from national and regional – and now with a global focus. With a consistent history of superior leadership skills and delivering above target results, Barry boasts an impressive list of industry achievements.
In his previous role as Managing Director, UKI and Northern Europe, Barry was instrumental in driving the company’s growth in the region, one of the leading regions in the Crown Group. He established innovative processes to streamline operations within his region, many of which were then adopted as best practices across the organization.
Barry continues to oversee Crown’s activity across multiple business units (Crown Records Management, Crown Relocations, Crown World Mobility, Crown Fine Art and Crown Logistics). In 2015 he helped launch two new regional brands: Crown Information Management Consultancy and Crown Workplace Relocations.
Educated at St Johns College Hamilton, New Zealand Barry holds a Global Mobility Specialist certification with the ERC®. Despite being away from his homeland for so long, he retains a strong interest in New Zealand’s national sport, rugby, and is an active member of London’s New Zealand community.
Group Vice President, Marketing and Chair of the Executive Management Group
Norah is the Group Vice President for Marketing, and chair of the Crown Executive Management Group, working to develop and implement the company’s business strategy. She is responsible for defining Crown’s global marketing strategies to some 5,000 staff and business partners to ensure alignment and consistency across all of the Crown brands.
Scottish-born Norah joined Crown some 30 years ago and has held a wide range of business development, learning and development, and general management positions. In 2011 she led Crown in repositioning its various brands and managed the internal and external initiatives to embed the Crown brand message, values and behaviors within the company. She is a frequent conference speaker in her areas of expertise, which include her many experiences from travelling and working in over 80 countries.
Educated at Napier University, Edinburgh, Norah has lived in Hong Kong, mainland China, Europe and the United States, and now lives in Dubai, UAE.
Regional Managing Director, Central, Southern and Eastern Europe, and Vice Chair of the Executive Management Group
Jurgen Zyderveld is Regional Managing Director of Central, Southern and Eastern Europe. He is also Vice Chair of the Executive Management Group.
After joining Crown Worldwide in 1995 as Residential Sales Manager in Singapore, Jurgen opened Crown’s operations in Seoul, South Korea in 1998 and subsequently helped integrate the Italian operations in Milan and Rome upon their acquisition by Crown in 2000. In addition to country management roles in South Korea, Italy, Germany and Switzerland, Jurgen has held a Regional Sales Management role in Europe and was also Regional Director of the DACH region from 2008 to 2015.
In June 2015, Jurgen assumed expanded responsibility for Central, Southern and Eastern Europe to include Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the CEE countries, Turkey and Russia. In this role, from his base in Zurich, Jurgen works closely with a strong management team of country leads and functional managers to ensure quality service delivery across all of Crown’s business units.
Jurgen is a Dutch national with a bachelor’s degree in General Management, Economics and Marketing from The Hague University of Applied Sciences and graduated from the first Crown University Program (Crown's internal management program) in 1997. He speaks Dutch, English, German, Italian and French.
Group Vice President, Human Resources
Magali Delafosse is the Group Vice President of Human Resources for Crown Worldwide, having been with the company since 2011. She has over 15 years’ extensive experience in talent acquisition, talent management and leadership development working for multinational companies in the Asia Pacific and EMEA regions. She has the in-depth understanding of the strategies required to be a successful human resources business partner.
With her global team of 25, Magali manages all aspects of Crown’s human resources, supporting over 5,000 employees in almost 60 countries across Crown’s six brands. She develops and oversees the company’s global human resources strategy, which includes employee relations, employee engagement, compensation and benefits, leadership development, HRIS (human resource information systems) and talent acquisition.
Magali is a French national and a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. She is also active in the human resources industry as a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and speaks at industry conferences.
Magali has a Bachelor Honorary Degree in European Business Administration and Languages from the University of Preston and a Master’s degree in Human Resources and Management from Sheffield Business School.
Tze Shen Kong
APAC CFO and Group Financial Controller
Tze Shen Kong joined Crown in 1998 as Financial Planning and Analysis Manager in Hong Kong and was named Regional APAC Chief Financial Officer in 2003. His current responsibilities include the accounting and financial matters of the Asia Pacific region, as well as those of the entire Crown Group as Group Financial Controller.
Shen has been responsible for many projects involving financial and legal issues and acquisition of businesses. He has worked with general, country and regional managers within the company, has been instrumental in helping various branches around the world achieve company objectives and success. Most recently he led the successful effort to form a Global Financial Shared Services Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that supports the Crown Group in the areas of finance and accounting, internal audit and legal and compliance.
A native of Malaysia, Shen earned his Bachelor of Business (Major in Accounting and Minor in Business Law) from Curtin University in Perth, Australia. He has been a member of CPA (Certified Practicing Accountants) Australia since 1994 and speaks English, Cantonese, Malay and Mandarin.
Group Vice President, World Mobility
As the head of Crown World Mobility, Curt is instrumental in further developing the World Mobility strategy to ensure Crown has the right customer-centric propositions to respond to both our global clients while adapting to local conditions. Curt works directly with operational and functional leaders to achieve and exceed growth targets in terms of revenue, profitability and customer service.
Curt is a highly skilled and talented executive with over 20 years’ experience, during which he led a client services segment with responsibility for a portfolio of Fortune 500 multi-national companies and several organization-wide initiatives. He is regarded as an outstanding business partner who brings valuable experience, strategic thinking, and unmatched client relations skills.
Curt is based in the US and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Connecticut.
Group Vice President, Relocations
Sherry Liu is the Group Vice President for Crown Relocations. She develops and implements the global strategies to provide Crown’s unique offering to the private relocations market. Sherry joined Crown in 1999, after relocating internationally several times with Crown. Sherry is a proven leader and an expert in her field.
She has held key roles in the company driving innovation to improve and refine Crown’s services as our customers’ needs evolve, and is a central part of the Crown executive management team.
An American, born in Taiwan, Sherry graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chinese and Asian Studies from Georgetown University, Washington DC. She lives in Hong Kong with her family.
Group Vice President, Records Management
As Crown’s Group Vice President of Records Management since 2001, Phillip’s primary responsibility is to promote the benefits of records management to Crown’s clients, from implementation, to rolling out new procedures, to the promotion of ongoing best practices. Having started in the information management industry in 1989, he boasts a wealth of knowledge and expertise.
Philip’s role includes the development of new products and services, including the roll-out of new technology systems offered by Crown Records Management to its 170 management centers, including fully customizable, web-based systems with linkage via the web cloud, and integration tools that provide clients with easy access to their records information.
Philip is a past member of the Board of Directors for PRISM International (Professional Records & Information Services Management) and currently holds a number of positions with various RIM industry organizations around the world who advise on industry standards.
Philip lives in Hong Kong and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of London (UK).
Chief Risk Officer
As the Group’s Chief Risk Officer since 2013, Gary's responsibility is to manage and oversee all quality and risk, compliance and supply chain management related processes for the Group.
Gary joined Crown in 1991 and has an in-depth knowledge of each industry that Crown operates within – something that is key to his role. He continually monitors the Group’s quality performance and publishes reports on related statistics against its set measures. In addition, Gary ensures customer expectations have been identified, met or exceeded.
Gary is based in the US and has achieved a number of professional industry specific certifications from Worldwide ERC, National Alliance and Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.
Group Vice President, Fine Art
As the Group Vice President of Fine Art, Fred is our leading brand ambassador and has an outstanding reputation in his field. His responsibilities include cultivating and developing our portfolio in line with the Crown strategy. He is a member of Crown’s Executive Management Group where he provides valuable insight contributing to overall corporate objectives.
Fred’s logistics career started began in 1988 – but since 2000 he has focused specifically on fine art. From 2000 to 2011, he worked with Netherlands-based Gerlach Art Packers & Shippers to develop a global fine art network. He started with acquisitions in Belgium and Germany and then expanded to China on request from a museum in Amsterdam to handle a Rembrandt exhibit in Shanghai. The successful network grew to include partners reaching as far as Russia and Finland.
In 2011 Fred joined Crown Fine Art and has since been instrumental in providing clients with customized service packages, overseeing 16 locations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.
Fred holds a degree in Logistics from the Harbour & Road Transport Academy and is based in Amsterdam.