FedEx announced Monday that, effective June 1, current Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith will step down from the position to become executive chairman. Smith will be succeeded by Raj Subramaniam, current FedEx president and COO. Smith and Subramaniam will both report directly to the company’s board and the COO position will not be backfilled. As part of the transition, Subramaniam has been named president and CEO-elect of FedEx Corp., effective immediately.
Smith founded Federal Express Corp. in Little Rock in 1971 and opened the World Hub in Memphis 10 years later.
“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.”
Subramaniam was elected to the FedEx board of directors in 2020 and will maintain his seat on the board. Prior to his role as president and COO, Subramaniam was president and CEO of FedEx Express, the world’s largest express transportation company. He also has served as executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer of FedEx Corp., where he was responsible for developing the corporate strategy, served as president of FedEx Express in Canada, and served in several other management and marketing roles throughout Asia and the U.S. since joining 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.”
Additionally, R. Brad Martin, current chair of the board’s audit committee, will now serve as non-executive vice chairman of the board. As such, Martin is the designated successor to serve as chairman of the board in the future.
Read the letter from Frederick W. Smith to FedEx employees here.