The UPS Board of Directors announced it had unanimously elected David P. Abney, UPS Chief Executive Officer, as Chairman of the Board, effective immediately. Abney succeeds Scott Davis as Chairman, who is expected to retire from his position on the UPS Board effective as of the 2016 Annual Meeting of Shareowners.
Additionally, the Board of Directors created a new Lead Independent Director position with the independent directors appointing William R. Johnson to the role, effective immediately. Among other responsibilities, the new Lead Independent Director is expected to play an active role in setting future agendas for UPS Board meetings, preside at meetings of independent directors, serve as the liaison between the Chairman and the independent directors, and consult on shareholder engagement and governance matters. Johnson, a former chairman, president and CEO of the H. J. Heinz Company, is due to continue serving as Chairperson of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.
Johnson said of the appointments, “Our decision to combine the roles of Board Chairman and CEO is a result of thoughtful consideration of the Board’s leadership structure. This change will improve strategic alignment and support the company’s ability to deliver value through profitable global growth, operating efficiency, customer satisfaction, and continuous improvement.” He added, “David Abney’s leadership on our Board, combined with many years of distinguished UPS service and a strong track record as CEO have prepared him to fulfill the role of both Chairman and CEO.”
During his tenure as CEO, Abney guided UPS to expand international and domestic revenue growth, delivered several consecutive quarters of earnings per share improvement, as well as completed strategic acquisitions. Prior to his appointment as CEO in 2014, Abney served as chief operating officer, overseeing logistics, sustainability, engineering and all facets of the UPS transportation network. Earlier in his career, Abney held the position of president of UPS International, driving the company’s strategic initiatives to increase its global capabilities.
Abney said of his new role, “Leading UPS into the future is a great honour, and I thank each and every UPS employee, our Management Committee, and our Board for the trust placed in me every day,” adding, “Continued international expansion, global e-commerce acceleration and growth in specialized markets present endless opportunities ahead, and it is a privilege to steer UPS to continued success.”