USA Truck names new CEO, Glaser to remain as Board vice chairman

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 253 views 

John “Randy” Rogers, who has more than 20 years experience in global logistics, including railroad operations, has been hired as CEO of Van Buren-based USA Truck. His first day on the job is Thursday (Jan. 14).

Thomas Glaser, a former chief operations officer of USA Truck who was named to the company’s Board of Directors in 2014, has served as CEO since July when former CEO John Simone resigned following a cancer diagnosis. Glaser has more than 30 years of management experience in the trucking industry, including serving as president of two truckload carriers, Arnold Transportation Services from 2008 to 2010 and Celadon Trucking Services from 2001 to 2007.

Glaser will remain with the company as vice chairman of the Board. Peiser, Glaser and Simone oversaw the financial turnaround of the company and helped fight off two hostile takeover attempts. Fiscal 2014 saw the company end five consecutive years of losses. The 2014 net income of $6.033 million was a more than $15 million swing from the $9.11 million loss in 2013.

“We are grateful to Tom Glaser, who came out of retirement to lead USA Truck when the Company’s former CEO left for health reasons in mid-2015. Our Company was very fortunate to have someone with extensive trucking industry experience and familiarity with USA Truck’s operations available to assume the leadership position,” USA Truck Board Chairman Robert Peiser noted in a statement. “He re-energized our turnaround and accomplished a substantial restructuring of our Trucking operations in the process creating a sustainable platform for that business.”

Rogers, 53, was previously president of Energy and Chemicals Americas for DHL Supply Chain (formerly Exel Logistics) where he was responsible for three sub-segments – energy and mining, polymers and specialty chemicals, with operations spanning the U.S. and Canada. He joined DHL Supply Chain in 2000 and his various jobs included vice president of South America, senior vice president of Greater China, and CEO of Southern Europe.

John "Randy" Rogers, incoming CEO of Van Buren-based USA Truck
John “Randy” Rogers, incoming CEO of Van Buren-based USA Truck

“In addition to developing new contract logistics businesses both organically and through acquisitions, Mr. Rogers worked closely with trucking operations and other transportation modes,” USA Truck noted in Wednesday’s (Jan. 13) statement.

Prior to joining DHL, Rogers was country manager for CSX Transportation’s Mexican subsidiary CSX de Mexico, and manager of international marketing-railroad for CSX Transportation. Rogers earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in business administration-international management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

“Randy is a highly accomplished transportation and logistics executive with an impressive track record in one of the world’s top logistics companies. During his two decades in the industry, he has managed complex and integrated logistics businesses, key geographies and multiple industry sectors, successfully executing the strategic priorities for each of the businesses he has led and putting them on a sound growth track,” Peiser said in the statement.

Peiser said Rogers’ primary role is to grow revenue and market share in its Strategic Capacity Solutions (logistics and brokerage) division and “continuing the many improvements we have made in our Trucking operations.”

Rogers is the second top management move by the company in the past four months. The company on Sept. 29 named Martin Tewari to the new position of president of trucking. Tewari, 51, is responsible for the company’s trucking operations, pricing, and sales.

While the company is on much better financial footing, challenges remain, especially with the effort to grow the asset-light part of the business. Revenue for the first nine months of 2015 hit $389.95 million, well below the $452.405 million during the same period of 2014. On the plus side, net income during the first nine months is $7.132 million, or 68 cents per share, well ahead of the $2.733 million and 26 cents per share during the same period of 2014.

However, revenue and operating income at Strategic Capacity Solutions (SCS) is off the pace set in 2014. Operating revenue for the first three quarters of the year totaled $115.754 million, almost $20 million below the same period in 2014. Operating income in the division for the first three quarters was $9.234 million, well below the $16.405 million in the same period of 2014.

Trucking division operating income was $6.565 million for the first nine months, a wide swing from an operating income loss of $6.338 million in the same period of 2014. Trucking division revenue during the nine months was $274.196 million, below the $317.23 million during the same period in 2014.

Glaser announced cost cutting moves and other actions following the third quarter earnings report. Changes included reducing the size of the tractor fleet by 400 in 2015 by retiring 800 older tractors and replacing them with 400 tractors that are more fuel efficient and require less maintenance; Increasing driver pay and increasing driver home time with improvements in scheduling, dispatch and other methods; and reducing overall corporate costs to reflect a trucking operation with 400 fewer tractors. He also planned changes in the SCS division.

“In SCS, we are implementing new generation technology intended to enable our customers to leverage our carrier partners and expect to roll out these enhancements in the first quarter of 2016. Additionally, we further expanded our footprint by opening two new brokerage branches. SCS will grow the depth of our value-added services, to include refrigerated, flatbed, expedited and LTL service offerings,” Glaser said in the third-quarter earnings statement.

The publicly held company is set to announce earnings Feb. 2. The consensus estimate among the three analysts who cover the company is full year net income of 93 cents per share on revenue of $558.76 million. For the fourth quarter, the estimate is 23 cents per share net income on total revenue of $130.22 million.

USA Truck shares (NASDAQ: USAK) closed Wednesday at $13.66, down $1.36. During the past 52 weeks the share price has ranged from a $32.14 high to a $13.88 low.