Half a century after it was founded, the world's largest transportation company is seeing a change of CEO. FedEx Corporation has announced that founder, chairman, and CEO Frederick W. Smith will be stepping back from the CEO role as of 1 June 2022. Smith, now aged 77, will become Executive Chairman instead, overseeing board governance and global issues.
Raj Subramaniam, President and Chief Operating Officer, will take the helm in Smith's place. He has been named CEO-elect with immediate effect and will officially take the full role on 1 June. The COO role will not be backfilled, but the company has not disclosed any further plans for that position.
Subramaniam has been with FedEx since 1991, holding assorted senior management and marketing positions across Asia and the US. In 2003 he was appointed Regional President for FedEx Express - the air delivery service and largest business line - in Canada, and subsequently moved to FedEx Services, the support group for the other FedEx companies, as Head of Global Marketing. He then returned to FedEx Express as President and CEO in January 2019, and in March of that same year became President and CEO of FedEx Corporation, the holding company.
The plan to transition Subramaniam into the top leadership position was first made at that time (March 2019), when Smith recommended him as the next CEO in a company-wide letter that also proposed making the change in FY2023. The company's financial year starts on 1 June. With the official announcement, that recommendation has become reality.
Smith said in yesterday's announcement, echoing his original recommendation: "As we look toward what’s next, I have a great sense of satisfaction that a leader of the caliber of Raj Subramaniam will take FedEx into a very successful future."
And David P. Steiner, Chair of the Board’s Governance, Safety, and Public Policy Committee, said: “Raj is an accomplished and proven leader, and he has the full support of the Board. He has more than 30 years of global experience across strategy and operations and has led the company through a period of tremendous growth. I am confident that Raj will build on this foundation and take the company to even greater heights.”