Trucking industry veteran Thomas Glaser, who was hired as a consultant by Van Buren-based USA Truck in November, has been named chief operations officer of the struggling trucking company.
Glaser, 62, is the second attempt to bring experience into USA Truck operations. The company hired David Hartline in August 2011 as the executive vice president and chief operations officer. Hartline was hired to bring his almost 20 years of trucking industry experience to USA Truck and help guide “operational execution and leadership development.”
Glaser was hired to “begin hands-on sessions with our operations personnel,” while the company “initiated a national search for an experienced operations executive.”
USA Truck was forced to obtain a new line of credit during the third quarter of 2012 after violating covenant agreements with the previous credit arrangement. Poor national freight demand and missteps by USA Truck in implementing new software were factors leading to a string of financial losses for the long-haul carrier that has more than 2,200 tractors and approximately 3,000 employees.
For the first nine months of 2012, the long-haul carrier recorded a net loss of $14.4 million, considerably worse than the $6.4 million loss during the same period of 2011. Revenue for the first nine months of 2012 totaled $301.7 million, down from the $310.8 million during the same period of 2011.
USA Truck posted a 2011 net income loss of $10.77 million, more than triple the loss during 2010 and in a year when other trucking companies began to see improved financials. Also, 2011 marked the third consecutive year of losses for USA Truck. In 2010, the company reported a loss of $3.308 million, and a $7.177 million loss in 2009.
The addition of Glaser was part of a Nov. 8 announcement by USA Truck of a “stockholders’ rights plan” that seemingly protects the company from a hostile takeover following a rapid share-price decline that has seen price levels well below any point in the company’s publicly-held history.
Glaser, a former president and COO of Celadon Group, has 24 years of experience in the industry. His work includes president and CEO of Arnold Transportation Services (July 2008 to March 2010), and a board member of Priority Transportation (February 2008 to June 2010). Glaser graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in in business administration.
The Celadon Group attempted a hostile takeover of USA Truck in October 2011. USA Truck officials rejected the request, and Celadon moved to an easier target. Celadon officials sold the shares of USA Truck in February 2012 announced it had “purchased a significant portion of the operating equipment of Teton Transportation, Inc.”
Cliff Beckham is the president and CEO of USA Truck, with Darron Ming serving as the chief financial officer and Mike Weindel as chief operations officer-special services.
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