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January 19, 2021 11:45 AM, EST

Incoming CEO of XPO Spinoff Company Outlines Plans

XPO Logistics fulfillment facilityRobots and people work together to fulfill orders at an XPO facility. "Demand is increasingly for supply chain automation, robotics, and we’re really at the forefront of that industry innovation," incoming CEO Malcolm Wilson said. (XPO Logistics)

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Malcolm Wilson shared his hopes and plans Jan. 15 for when he becomes the first CEO of a new company splitting from XPO Logistics Inc.

“I’m honored, and I’m humbled,” Wilson told Transport Topics. “To have the chance to work in this role, that displays a lot of trust that people have in me and the team I’m going to assemble. I’m personally super excited.”

XPO announced last month that it would spin off its global contract logistics operations into its own publicly traded company. Wilson was named CEO on Jan. 12. He’ll assume the role once the transition is complete later this year.

Malcolm Wilson

Wilson

“We’re already starting from a great position,” Wilson said. “The company is already a leader in contract logistics, reverse logistics and omnichannel fulfillment. What we’re seeking to do is build on these areas and do even more that can then help our customers navigate what is becoming an increasingly complex supply chain.”

Wilson currently is president of XPO Logistics Europe and has three decades of executive experience managing multinational supply chain operations. He is working with Richard Cawston, who will continue as president of supply chain logistics in Europe under the new company.

“We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that as a new logistics pure play company, we’re going to benefit from powerful secular tailwinds,” Wilson said. “Large customers are tending to accelerate their outsourcing of logistics. Now that is great news for our business. It’s going to be great for our company.

“And demand is increasing for supply chain automation, robotics, and we’re really at the forefront of that industry innovation.”

 

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Wilson added that the splitting of the business is going to help the company to better organize and focus on key objectives, with e-commerce being one.

“The spinoff of the logistics business is going to bring lots of benefits. Each management team of the new company is going to have the ability to focus solely on the company’s strategic priorities and business operations,” he said. “Each company is also going to have great flexibility to tailor its decision-making. And that can be on things like capital allocation, capital structures.”

Wilson added both companies will be better paired with their respective peer group. Additionally, the companies will be able to better unlock the value trapped inside the larger XPO conglomerate.

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“The idea is to create two high-performing companies that serve the best interest of all the stakeholders, and that includes customers and employees,” Wilson said. “So transitioning current leadership into their respective roles for the planned spinoff, that’s really going to lead the business into a well-positioned environment towards more growth opportunities.”

The new business, dubbed NewCo, will take over the global contract logistics operations. The original company, XPORemainCo, primarily will handle global transportation operations, including less-than-truckload and truck brokerage.

“Each company also will be able to be pure play in the context of equity to pursue M&A opportunities,” Wilson said. “This is a lever that will allow us to attract key employees because the equity tracks more closely to the performance of the underlining business. The higher valuation will then strengthen that lever.”

By having each management team focused solely on its strategic priorities, Wilson added that he believes that’s going to drive even greater business performance.

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“In terms of what still needs to be accomplished between now and the split, basically we’re involved in the formation of the new company,” Wilson said, “and that effectively includes the selection of all the senior leadership team and board members. I am playing an active part in that. There is also from a process standpoint several key steps.”

Wilson noted that another step is filing the public registration with the U.S. There also is a range of technology considerations, transition service agreements and licensing agreements to sort out.

XPO Logistics ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of the largest logistics companies in North America and No. 3 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers.

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