UPS Replaces CEO David Abney With Former Home Depot Finance Chief

Anne Chou

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United Parcel Service Inc. announced that CEO David Abney is stepping down, and will be replaced by board member Carol Tomé effective June 1. Abney, who is also chairman of the board, will transition to an executive chairman role until his retirement from the board at the end of September. UPS said that Abney will continue to serve as a special consultant through the end of 2020 to “ensure a smooth transition and successful peak season.”

Tomé will be UPS’s 12th CEO and the first outsider to lead the Atlanta-based global shipping giant in its 113-year history. She has been a UPS director since 2003, and was the former executive vice president and CFO of home improvement retail giant Home Depot. Tomé is credited with driving a 450% increase in Home Depot’s shareholder value during her 18-year tenure, according to a statement by the company.

William Johnson, UPS’s lead independent director and a former longtime chief executive of H. J. Heinz Co., will become non-executive chairman effective September 30.

“Carol is one of the most respected and talented leaders in Corporate America and has a proven track record of driving growth at a global organization, maximizing shareholder value, developing talent and successfully executing against strategic priorities,” Johnson said in a statement. “As a member of the Board and Chair of the Audit Committee, Carol has in-depth knowledge of UPS’s business, strategy and people, and is the right executive to lead the company at this important time in its transformation.”

Abbey has spent nearly 50 years at the company, starting his career as a part-time package loader while attending Delta State University, and rising through the ranks to serve in several key positions including chief operating officer and president of UPS international. He was appointed CEO in September 2014 and chairman in 2016.

UPS has seen a number of C-suite departures in the last year with the August 2019 exit of CFO Richard Peretz and the October 2019 departure of COO Jim Barber. While the company has generally looked internally to fill leadership roles, in recent years it has brought in outsiders to lead the company, including former PepsiCo executive Brian Newman as UPS’s current CFO, former Walmart executive Scott Price in the newly created CTSO role, and now Tomé in the top job.

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