J.B. Hunt to Promote Shelley Simpson to CEO Post

Simpson Replaces Longtime CEO John Roberts
Shelley Simpson
Simpson is a veteran of more than 30 years with the company, (Business Wire)

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J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. announced that company president Shelley Simpson is also taking on the post of CEO, effective July 1.

Simpson, a veteran of more than 30 years with the company, will replace John Roberts as the company’s top executive. She will be the fifth CEO in the company’s 62-year history. Roberts, who has been CEO since January 2011, is set to become executive chairman of the carrier’s board.

J.B. Hunt ranks No. 3 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.

The company said in a Feb. 29 news release that the changes are part of established succession planning, moves that it intends to support future growth and shareholder confidence.



“Shelley challenges us to be excellent and innovative and always in pursuit of customer value,” Roberts said. “She will continue to remain focused on disciplined investments to drive appropriate returns and long-term growth for the benefit of our people, customers and shareholders.”

He added, “These steps help to ensure the culture and innovative growth mindset that has been so vital to the success of our company remains strong and intact to support the vision and the values of the company for the foreseeable future.”

Simpson, who joined the company as a customer service representative in 1994, took on the role of president in 2022 after becoming head of human resources in 2020. Prior to taking over HR, Simpson in April 2017 was appointed chief commercial officer.

Roberts, meanwhile, will replace Kirk Thompson as executive chairman of the board. Both Thompson and Wayne Garrison are set to retire from the board, but will take on advisory roles as honorary founding directors.

“I am so happy to know Kirk and Wayne will remain involved as advisers beyond their service as directors, and I am excited to congratulate John and Shelley on their new leadership roles,” said Johnelle Hunt, co-founder of J.B. Hunt. “I care deeply about the long-term success of the company, and these changes give me great confidence in the company’s ability to continue to prosper well into the future.”

Thompson and Garrison are both former CEOs of the company. 

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