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December 13, 2017 5:30 PM, EST

YRC CEO James Welch to Retire in 2018

YRC Freight President Darren Hawkins Expected to Be Groomed as Successor
YRC's Welch (left), Hawkins YRC's Welch (left), Hawkins

YRC Worldwide CEO James Welch will retire on July 31, 2018, the less-than-truckload carrier announced Dec. 13.

Welch, 62, first joined subsidiary Yellow Transportation nearly 40 years ago. He left to become CEO of Dynamex Inc., but returned to YRC Worldwide in 2011.

On Jan. 1, YRC Freight President Darren Hawkins will assume the transitional role of Chief Operating Officer of YRC Worldwide. In July, the Board of Directors is expected to name Hawkins as the successor to Welch as CEO. Hawkins will report to Welch during the transition.

“During his tenure, James assembled a strong team of leaders at YRCW, YRC Freight, Holland, Reddaway and New Penn and worked to change the trajectory of the company, paving the way for significant investment in technology and equipment,” said Jim Hoffman, Chairman of the YRC Worldwide Board of Directors. “The board and I appreciate his leadership and his commitment to stay and work with Darren over the upcoming transition period.”

“I believe this is the right time for YRCW and me to make the transition,” Welch said. “There’s more work to be done but I am proud of what has been accomplished.”

Also on Jan. 1, T.J. O’Connor, president of subsidiary Reddaway, will be promoted to president of YRC Freight. Bob Stone, Reddaway’s vice president of operations, will replace O’Connor.

YRC ranks No. 5 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.