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Smith to transition his role, Subramaniam to take reins as FedEx CEO

A long anticipated leadership change at Memphis-based FedEx Corp. will become reality in June.

The shipping giant announced Monday, March 28, that founder, chairman and CEO Fred Smith would transition to executive chairman on June 1.

Raj Subramaniam

Raj Subramaniam, president and COO, will assume the positions of president and CEO of the company.

The company also announced that R. Brad Martin would become non-executive vice chairman of the boards of directors. Martin is now chairman of the board’s audit committee and his new position designates him as successor to serve as chairman of the board.

David P. Steiner, chairman of the board’s Governance, Safety, and Public Policy Committee, will continue to serve as lead independent director.

Smith and Subramaniam will report directly to the board, and the chief operating officer position will not be filled, according to a company release. Subramaniam has been named president and CEO-elect of FedEx Corp. effective immediately.

“FedEx has changed the world by connecting people and possibilities for the last 50 years,” Smith said. “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. In my role as executive chairman, I look forward to focusing on board governance as well as issues of global importance, including sustainability, innovation, and public policy.”

Steiner said Smith “disrupted conventional thinking and created an industry” when he founded FedEx.

“Raj is an accomplished and proven leader, and he has the full support of the board,” Steiner said in a release. “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.”

Subramaniam was elected to the FedEx board in 2020 and will maintain his seat. Prior to his role as president and COO, he was president and CEO of FedEx Express, the world’s largest express transportation company. He also served as executive vice resident and chief marketing and communications officer of FedEx Corp., where he was responsible for developing the corporate strategy. In addition, he served as president of FedEx Express in Canada and in several other management and marketing roles throughout Asia and the U.S. since he joined FedEx in 1991.

“Fred is a visionary leader and a legend of the business world,” Subramaniam said. “He founded one of the world’s greatest and most admired companies, and it is my honor and privilege to step into this role and build upon what he has created. As we continue to transform as a company and reimagine what’s next, we will keep our people-service-profit philosophy at our core. I am immensely proud of our 600,000 team members around the world. Together we’ve set into motion ideas that have changed the world for the better, and together we will unlock new value for our people, customers, and shareholders.”

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