USA Truck hires new CFO, also brings on new human resources exec

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 916 views 

Jason Bates is the new chief financial office at Van Buren-based USA Truck, filling out the management team that has seen a complete leadership shuffle in the past two years.

The trucking and logistics company also announced Wednesday (April 19) that Cheryl Stone was hired as senior vice president-human resources.

Bates previously worked as vice president-finance, revenue services and investor relations at Swift Transportation. Swift and Knight Transportation recently merged operations in a deal valued at $6 billion, making the merged company one of the largest trucking operations in the country.

Bates also worked as vice president and assistant treasurer for Swift, and was with the company since 2003. Prior to Swift, Bates worked in a variety of finance and accounting jobs at Honeywell International.

“Jason is an extraordinary financial executive with a strong track record with one of the largest and most sophisticated companies in our industry,” USA Truck President and CEO James Reed said in a statement. “Among my immediate objectives as CEO has been assembling leaders who embrace the intensity and accountability necessary to improve the Company’s financial performance and enhance shareholder value. Jason not only embodies all of those qualities, he brings an outstanding reputation in our industry and immediately strengthens our leadership team by bringing the credibility and experience to make us better every day. We look forward to his influence and contributions to our success as we work toward improving company profitability.”

Bates earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Brigham Young University and an master’s degree in business administration from Arizona State University.

Stone recently worked as chief administrative officer for Consolidated Technology Services, and previously was vice president for Global Human Resources & Administration for Tri Marine International.

“Cheryl adds significant depth to our efforts to ensure the high-performance culture we are creating takes hold,” Reed said in the statement. “Her experience in the marine business which, similar to our industry, operates with thousands of remote team members, provides a great framework for understanding and improving the challenges inherent in a transportation company the size of USA Truck.”

Following are some of the other recent leadership changes.
• January 2017: CFO James Reed is promoted to CEO following the sudden resignation of Randy Rogers
• May 2016: Michael Borrows resigns as CFO and executive vice president
• July 2015: Thomas Glaser named president and CEO, replacing John Simone
• April 2015: Glaser named interim chief operating officer, after Simone takes medical leave

The company has been under pressure from investors to improve its financials.

USA Truck reported fourth quarter and full year financials Feb. 7, with the full year numbers including a $5.3 million loss tied to “restructuring, impairment and other costs.” The per share loss for the year was 90 cents. The 2016 loss is a wide swing from 2015. The company ended 2015 on a high note, with full year 2015 net income reaching $11.069 million, up 76.1% compared to 2014 net income. It was the second consecutive year of growth for a company that has struggled since the Great Recession.

Shares of USA Truck (NASDAQ: USAK) closed Wednesday at $7.05, up 14 cents. In the past 52 weeks, the stock has traded between $21.46 and $6.62.