Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

FedEx founder, Fred Smith, to step down as CEO

By: Autumn Scott

MEMPHIS, Tenn.– FedEx Corp. announced Monday that Fred Smith, the founder of the company, is stepping down as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer effective June 1, 2022.

In a press release, FedEx said Smith will become executive chairman and Raj Subramaniam, President and Chief Operating Officer, will be promoted to President and CEO of FedEx Corp.

The company also announced that Smith and Subramaniam will both report directly to the Board and the chief operating officer position will not be backfilled.

“FedEx has changed the world by connecting people and possibilities for the last 50 years,” Smith said. “As we look toward what’s next, I have a great sense of satisfaction that a leader of the caliber of Raj Subramaniam will take FedEx into a very successful future. In my role as Executive Chairman, I look forward to focusing on Board governance as well as issues of global importance, including sustainability, innovation, and public policy.”

In a statement, Greater Memphis Chamber President and CEO Beverly Robertson expressed her gratitude for Smith’s contributions to the city over the years, saying:

From a college class to a global brand, Fred Smith took the kernel of an idea and made it resonate around the world. I feel a deep sense of civic pride every time I fly into Memphis and see row upon row of FedEx airplanes. Because of his profound vision, he’s leaving a powerful legacy that has forever changed the trajectory of this company and this city. We will continue to owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude for his contributions to Memphis.  

Fred Smith couldn’t leave his legacy in better hands than those of his successor. We look forward to seeing Raj Subramaniam continue to build on the solid foundation laid by Fred Smith, whose impact will be felt in Memphis for generations to come.

Subramaniam was elected to the Board of Directors in 2020 and will maintain his seat on the Board. He was President and Chief Executive Officer of FedEx Express prior to his role as President and COO of FedEx Corp.

Subramaniam has also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of FedEx Corp and in several other management and marketing roles throughout Asia and the U.S. since he joined FedEx in 1991.

“Fred is a visionary leader and a legend of the business world,” Subramaniam said. “He founded one of the world’s greatest and most admired companies, and it is my honor and privilege to step into this role and build upon what he has created. As we continue to transform as a company and reimagine what’s next, we will keep our people-service-profit philosophy at our core. I am immensely proud of our 600,000 team members around the world. Together we’ve set into motion ideas that have changed the world for the better, and together we will unlock new value for our people, customers, and shareholders.”

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