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September 5, 2019 3:30 PM, EDT

Daseke Shakes Up Company as President, CFO Depart

Daseke is making leadership changes. Trucks from Bulldog Highway Express, a Daseke company. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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Daseke Inc., one of the largest flatbed and specialized transportation companies in North America, announced on Sept. 5 it would replace its president and chief financial officer and fold three divisions into other parts of the corporation.

The shuffling is part of the company’s reorganization plan, which it hopes will add $20 million to $25 million to operating income in 2020. The company’s CEO said Daseke may have grown too fast while not containing costs in the process.

The reorganization comes one month after the Addison, Texas-based truckload company posted a 20% increase in revenue but a net loss of $6.4 million in the fiscal quarter ended June 30.

Shortly after that filing, founder and CEO Don Daseke said he would retire on Aug. 15, but remain as a member of the board. The company appointed Chris Easter, its former chief operating officer, as interim CEO, in mid-August.

Daseke

Daseke

On Sept. 5, Easter and Daseke officials said part of the new plan would include eliminating some positions.

Daseke officials said R. Scott Wheeler resigned from his position as president and board member. Daseke said Easter will assume the duties of president while he is interim CEO and COO.

Daseke also said Bharat Mahajan, Daseke CFO, agreed to a separation based on a desire to relocate his family to Canada. Daseke said Mahajan entered into a separation and transition agreement on Sept. 3. Daseke said David Bizzaro from Bridgepoint Consulting will fill the role of interim CFO immediately. Mahajan will remain with the company for 30 days to assist with transition.

Daseke officials stressed Wheeler and Mahajan did not resign as a result of any disagreements or past financial statements.

Easter said in a news release that upon assuming the CEO title, it became clear that Daseke could achieve much greater operating efficiency.

Christopher Easter

Easter

“Years of aggressive growth resulted in corporate costs that either failed to deliver value or were not appropriate for a company of our size and structure,” Easter said. “At the same time, we possess some of the best talent in our industry throughout our operating companies, and we must better leverage their depth and experience. We are now tapping into their expertise to help accelerate our prior operational improvement plans. We have also announced new steps to streamline our corporate function through a number of cost initiatives, including the elimination of several corporate positions.”

Don Daseke founded the company in 2008, and in its first year it made about $30 million in revenue. Growing by acquiring such companies as Roadmaster Group and Boyd Bros. Transportation, the company grossed $1.77 billion in 2018. Daseke has a fleet of approximately 6,000 tractors and 13,000 flatbed and specialized trailers, and more than 1 million square feet of industrial warehouse space.

Daseke Inc. ranks No. 21 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.