Management shifts continue at USA Truck, with CFO replacing CEO

by Jeff Della Rosa (JDellaRosa@nwabj.com) 541 views 

One year after USA Truck replaced its president and chief executive officer, the Van Buren-based carrier has done it again. James Reed, who was hired in October as chief financial officer, has replaced Randy Rogers as the company’s president and CEO.

Reed will also assume Rogers’ position on the board of directors.

Reed replaces Rogers “effective immediately,” according to a Monday (Jan. 30) news release. Rogers, who was named president and CEO in January 2016, “is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.” Also “effective immediately,” James “Jim” Craig, president of USAT Logistics, has been appointed as executive vice president and chief commercial officer, which is a new position.

“Last year was a tough year for our industry in general, and specifically for USA Truck,” Robert Peiser, chairman of USA Truck Board of Directors, said in the release. “With the need for a different approach to the company’s strategy to improve its operations, we are extremely pleased to have executives of James’ and Jim’s caliber assume leadership of the company.”

For the first nine months of 2016, the Van Buren-based company posted a loss of $3.887 million, a more than $11 million gap compared with the $7.132 million in net income during the same period of 2015. Total revenue in the first nine months is $325.964 million, below the $389.95 million in the same period of 2015. The company is set to release fourth quarter and full year earnings on Feb. 6.

Peiser was grateful for Rogers’ contributions to the company over the past year and “has been instrumental in leading the company through this transitional period. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.” In January 2016, Rogers was named president and CEO, succeeding Thomas Glaser, who remained on the board of directors and was appointed vice chairman.

Reed said he was “honored” by his appointment and “eager to build upon the efforts underway to position the company for success in 2017 and beyond. I believe that accelerated execution of USA Truck’s emerging profit improvement initiatives and a strong focus on capitalizing on growth opportunities will drive greater value for our shareholders, allow us to better serve our customers and benefit all our employees.”

“All of us understand that we must execute and deliver improved results quickly,” Reed said, adding that a “key focus” of the management team will be “accelerating the pace of change at USA Truck.” This includes “expanding USAT Logistics, improving service levels in our truckload business and reducing operating costs to enhance and strengthen our financial performance.”

Reed has more than 20 years of experience in trucking, operations and corporate finance. Before joining USA Truck, he was CFO of Interstate Distributor Company, a Tacoma, Wash.-based trucking company, and was president of its subsidiary Interstate Distributor Logistics.

“In his brief tenure at USA Truck, James already has demonstrated his ability to drive operational excellence across the organization, drawing upon his more than two decades of experience in trucking, logistics, finance and business development,” Peiser said. “He is an action-oriented executive with a strong attention to detail and has already implemented procedures to improve operational performance.”

Craig was excited to work with Reed “to meet the challenges of my expanded role and am confident that his impact at the company will be immediately recognized.” Craig – who was hired in February 2016 as president of strategic capacity solutions, which was another new position at the time – will continue to oversee the logistics business along with his new responsibilities of “driving the company’s topline revenue through increased coordination of USA Truck’s internal operations, as well as improving the overall customer service experience,” according to the release.

Craig said he will focus on driving revenue growth “across both of our businesses by ensuring our pricing, sales, capacity, network planning and customer needs all complement one another and respond directly to current market conditions.”

“Jim is a proven operator with 34 years of industry experience who has positioned USAT Logistics as an important growth engine, and we expect he will achieve similar results in his expanded role,” Peiser said.

The USA Truck Board of Directors will immediately start searching for someone to fill the position of chief financial officer.

Following are some of the other recent leadership changes.
• May 2016, Michael Borrows resigns as CFO and executive vice president
• July 2015, Thomas Glaser named president and CEO, replacing John M. Simone
• April 2015, Glaser named interim chief operating officer, after Simone takes medical leave

Shares of USA Truck (NASDAQ: USAK) closed at $8.98, down 13 cents or 1.43%, on Monday. In the past 52 weeks, the stock has traded between $21.46 and $7.65.

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