J.B. Hunt Transport makes key leadership changes

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 1,940 views 

Logistics giant J.B. Hunt Transport Services has made changes to its executive leadership team following the recent retirement of chief financial officer David Mee.

In a Tuesday (Nov. 24) news release, the Lowell-based company named John Kuhlow chief financial officer. Kuhlow had served as interim CFO since March. He joined the company in 2006 as assistant controller and later became controller and chief accounting officer before this promotion.

“First of all, I want to thank John Kuhlow for his patient and competent service as our interim CFO during the past several months,” John Roberts, president and CEO, said in a news release. “As the pandemic presented itself, we were faced with challenges in performing an appropriate external search to facilitate an effective and thorough process. John’s reliability has allowed us the time to arrive at a complete and fully vetted decision for this important position. We are very pleased to announce John’s appointment as our next CFO and have great confidence in our path forward.

“During the past eight months, we have not only been dealing with our response to the challenges presented by COVID-19, we have also been moving forward with important leadership decisions. These changes best address the opportunities we see in many areas of the company and we believe set us up to head into 2021 and the future with the right people focused on the right things.”

Roberts also named Nick Hobbs to the role of chief operating officer. He will continue as president of contract services, which included the dedicated contract and final mile services of the company. In the expanded role, Hobbs will be responsible for maintenance and equipment purchasing teams. He will also have increased oversight for asset operations across all divisions of the company. The J.B. Hunt 360 platform is expected to be a key component of operational excellence under his leadership.

Shelley Simpson is also taking on more responsibility on top of being the chief commercial officer. She will now be over international services, corporate marketing and a newly created role of executive vice president of people and human resources. Mark Greenway, senior vice president of human resources, and his team will now report to Simpson.

Roberts said as supply chain integration requirements for shippers evolve, a more comprehensive logistics approach under Simpson’s leadership is important to the company’s strategic future.

“J.B. Hunt 360 is expected to continue to play a key role in improving the value the company presents to its customers and carriers across all services,” Roberts said. “All segments will continue to work closely with Shelley’s enterprise sales and marketing teams on customer development and economic strategies, particularly in Integrated Capacity Solutions, Truckload and Intermodal, as she maintains her accountability for the P&L performance in the growth and margin of these segments.”

Craig Harper, executive vice president, has been named to the newly created role of chief sustainability officer to lead the company’s focus on sustainability initiatives, including improvements in environmental actions. That will include overseeing new developments in equipment technologies such as electric vehicles and autonomous driving, among other emerging concepts. He will continue to lead driver hiring, orientation and safety programs, as well as fuel purchasing for the company.

Brad Hicks has been named president of highway services, which is comprised of ICS and Truckload segments. Hicks has 24 years of experience with the company, primarily in the DCS segment, and most recently served as executive vice president of DCS.

Roberts said the new alignment is a key strategic investment and will bring together Hicks and Eric McGee, executive vice president of highway services, to further expand offerings in a growing part of the company.

The company said the new appointments will be effective Dec. 1 and each executive will report directly to Roberts.

Shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ: JBHT) traded higher at $136.20, up $2.57 in light volume on Tuesday morning. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock has traded between $75.29 and $144.35 per share. Year-to-date the share price is up 36.6%.