November 5, 2014 1:00 PM, EST

FedEx Freight’s Logue to Retire; Ducker Is Successor

FedEx Corp.

FedEx Freight CEO William Logue, who led the unit back to historical profitability levels, will retire for health reasons Dec. 31, to be succeeded by Michael Ducker, chief operating officer of FedEx Express.

The statement from Memphis, Tennessee-based FedEx Corp. noted that Logue, 57, has led the largest less-than-truckload carrier since 2010, increasing profitability his entire tenure.

“Bill Logue has led FedEx Freight to significant growth, success and a leading position in the LTL industry,” FedEx CEO Frederick Smith said. “He navigated some of the worst economic conditions the industry has ever seen and delivered outstanding results while positioning FedEx Freight for long-term success.”

In the first full quarter after Logue was appointed to head the unit, FedEx Freight lost $107 million from operations and generated revenue of $1.04 billion. Last quarter, which ended Aug. 31, the unit produced profit of $168 million and revenue rose by nearly half to $1.51 billion.

Faced with those results, FedEx Freight overhauled its structure to include two levels of service, priority and economy, as its terminal network simultaneously was consolidated.

FedEx Freight consistently posted operating ratios in the 90 range, or below, until the recession and the costs of multiple networks took their toll. By the first quarter of its current fiscal year, that ratio once again was below 90 at 89.6.

Prior to the restructuring, the company operated separate networks. One was regionally focused and built up as the company grew. The other was based on the longhaul markets served by bought Watkins Motor Lines when it was purchased in 2006.

Ducker, a 40-year FedEx veteran, is moving to FedEx Freight on the same path that Logue took.

Prior to joining the LTL carrier, Logue spent about two years heading the operations of the Express business that generates about 60% of revenue.

“While we are sorry to see Bill retire, he has our gratitude, support and best wishes,” Smith said.

FedEx Corp. ranks No. 2 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.