UPS Inc. said its board unanimously elected CEO David Abney to the position of chairman.
Abney succeeds Scott Davis, who will retire from the board as of the upcoming annual meeting, the company said.
The meeting has not yet been publicly scheduled, according to the company’s online calendar of events.
“Leading UPS into the future is a great honor, and I thank each and every UPS employee, our management committee and our board for the trust placed in me every day,” Abney said in a statement. “Continued international expansion, global e-commerce acceleration and growth in specialized markets present endless opportunities ahead, and it is a privilege to steer UPS to continued success.”
Additionally, the board created the position of lead independent director and appointed William Johnson to the role, effective immediately, it said Feb. 10.
Among other responsibilities, the lead independent director will help set agendas for board meetings, preside at meetings of independent directors, serve as the liaison between the chairman and the independent directors, and consult on shareholder engagement and governance matters, according to UPS said.
Johnson, a former chairman and CEO of the H. J. Heinz Co., will continue to serve as chairman of the nominating and corporate governance committee, the company said.
“Our decision to combine the roles of board chairman and CEO is a result of thoughtful consideration of the board’s leadership structure,” Johnson said in a statement. “This change will improve strategic alignment and support the company’s ability to deliver value through profitable global growth, operating efficiency, customer satisfaction and continuous improvement.”
He added: “David Abney’s leadership on our board, combined with many years of distinguished UPS service and a strong track record as CEO, have prepared him to fulfill the role of both chairman and CEO.”
UPS said that during his tenure as CEO, Abney expanded international and domestic revenue growth, delivered several consecutive quarters of earnings-per-share improvement, and successfully completed and integrated strategic acquisitions.
Before becoming CEO in 2014, Abney served as chief operating officer, overseeing logistics, sustainability, engineering and all facets of the UPS transportation network. Earlier in his career, Abney was president of UPS International, driving strategic initiatives to increase global capabilities, the company said.
Commenting on Davis’ career, Abney said, “Scott Davis has served UPS for 30 years in numerous capacities and has positively transformed the company and positioned UPS for future success, while deepening our commitment to our customers, our shareholders and our employees. We owe Scott our gratitude and wish him the best in his retirement.”
Davis was elected chairman and CEO in 2008 and retired as CEO on Sept. 1, 2014, as part of a previously announced succession plan.