New Executives Chosen to Steer Pilot Overhaul

TA, BP Deal Gets Antitrust OK
Pilot executives
Wright (left) and Lillo. Background via Pilot Co.

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Pilot Co. is to replace its top two officers with executives hand-picked by its new majority owner as one of the United States’ biggest truck stop operators readies a major overhaul of its facilities, the company said April 10.

Meanwhile, rival truck stop operator TravelCenters of America Inc. said April 11 that a 30-day antitrust waiting period imposed by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act on its acquisition by BP Products North America expired without any action by the Federal Trade Commission.

At Pilot, based in Knoxville, Tenn., Adam Wright will take the helm as CEO on May 30, while Joe Lillo will become chief financial officer the same day. Both are long-time employees at Berkshire Hathaway. The conglomerate controlled by Warren Buffett has been Pilot’s biggest shareholder since Jan. 31.

Wright most recently served as executive vice president of operations and chief operating officer at Berkshire Hathaway’s MidAmerican Energy unit. Wright has worked at the Des Moines, Iowa-based natural gas and electricity service provider since 1996.

“It’s an honor to join the Pilot family and to lead such an influential company that has fueled millions of journeys over the past 65 years,” Wright said.

Pilot parachuted Wright and Lillo into the roles to “deliver on the company’s long-term growth and vision plans.”

Pilot, which operates more than 870 locations, announced plans in March 2022 to remodel nearly 500 of its oldest travel centers across the country. Pilot ranks No. 15 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest private carriers in North America.

Shameek Konar and Kevin Wills will be leaving their respective positions as CEO and CFO after “supporting the transition.”

Pilot CEO Shameek Konar


No timeline was provided for that transition. Konar had been in the role since 2021.

Konar, who joined Pilot in 2017, was the first non-Haslam CEO in the 65-year history of the company. The Haslam family retains a 20% ownership stake in Pilot. James A. Haslam II, founder of Pilot Co. and James A. “Jimmy” Haslam III are members of the board.

“I want to thank Shameek and Kevin for all that they have done for Pilot Co. They have been instrumental in leading our over 30,000 team members through several years of growth and innovation,” Jimmy Haslam said. “While we express our utmost gratitude to them, I also want to welcome Adam, Joe and their families to Pilot Co. and to the Knoxville community.”

Pilot’s long-term plans include investing $1 billion in its New Horizons store modernization initiative and installing a coast-to-coast network of electric vehicle fast chargers. 

Over at the largest publicly traded truck stop operator, TA said the waiting period for the BP deal expired April 10. TA has 281 locations.

BP and TA

A special meeting of shareholders to approve the $1.3-billion buyout is scheduled for May 10. If shareholder approval is received, the transaction is expected to close by May 15.

The deal would see BP acquire all of TA’s outstanding common stock for $86 per share in cash. That price represents an 84% premium to TA’s average stock price of $46.68 over the 30 days ended Feb. 15, when the takeover was revealed.

When announcing the deal on Feb. 16, BP said its plans for TA would focus heavily on offering more EV charging options for truckers as well as biofuels, renewable natural gas and hydrogen as fuel.

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