FedEx CEO Fred Smith to step down

Fifty years after founding the company, Frederick Smith announced Monday that he will step down as FedEx’s chief executive in June. Raj...


Fifty years after founding the company, Frederick Smith announced Monday that he will step down as FedEx’s chief executive in June.

Raj Subramaniam, the current president and chief operating officer, will succeed Mr Smith, according to a press release from FedEx.

“FedEx has changed the world by connecting people and possibilities over the past 50 years,” Smith said in a statement posted on the company’s website. “As we look ahead, I have a great sense of satisfaction.”

A former naval officer who served two tours of duty in Vietnam, Mr. Smith got the idea for FedEx from a term paper he wrote in 1965 while a student at the University. of Yale. The paper, which explained how companies could deliver items faster if they changed their shipping strategies, received a grade of C because Mr Smith’s professor didn’t think the strategy was viable, according to Contractor magazine.

In its first 26 months of business, the company lost $29 million. Mr Smith told how he managed to keep the business afloat with the money he earned playing in Las Vegas. In a story told in the memoirs of former FedEx executive Robert Frock, Mr Smith took the company’s last $5,000 to Las Vegas and brought home winnings of $27,000 – a sum that allowed FedEx to pay a fuel bill and keep the business afloat.

During his decades at the helm of the company, Mr. Smith built FedEx into a billion-dollar company that revolutionized the airline industry. According to FedEx, the company operated 695 planes in 220 countries in 2022 and transports about 17 million packages a day. Earlier this month, it reported earnings of more than $1 billion on $23.6 billion in revenue for the three months ending February.

Mr. Smith was an early supporter of the 2017 tax cuts proposed by President Donald J. Trump. Tax cuts helped FedEx avoid more than $1.5 billion in taxes, November 2019 report finds article in the New York Times. Following the publication of the article, Mr Smith challenged the publisher and economics editor of The Times to a debate. The debate did not take place and Mr Smith did not point out any factual errors in the Times coverage.

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Newsrust - US Top News: FedEx CEO Fred Smith to step down
FedEx CEO Fred Smith to step down
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