The UPS CEO who began his career as a package handler for the company is stepping down.
David Abney, who began his career with UPS in 1974, is retiring after six years as CEO, the company said Thursday. UPS board member Carol Tomé, who previously served as chief financial officer at The Home Depot, will take over the top job at the end of May.
Abney will serve as board chairman until he retires in September but will remain as a special consultant through the end of 2020, the company said.
“UPS has been one of my life’s passions and through UPS I have been able to live the American dream,” Abney said in a statement. Abney joined the company at a small UPS facility in Greenwood, Mississippi, when he was attending Delta State University.
“I am extremely pleased for Carol and know she is the best choice to lead the company,” he said. “She understands UPS’s culture and values, is a strategic leader and possesses a customer-first mindset.”
Tomé will be the 12th CEO for UPS, which had its beginnings in 1907 in Seattle, Washington. She has been a member of the UPS board of directors since 2003 and serves as the chairperson of its audit committee. She spent 18 years at The Home Depot, also as an executive vice president.
“I look forward to working with and further developing the talented management team and the company’s 495,000 employees to deliver for our customers and shareowners,” Tomé said in a statement.
UPS conducted “a rigorous selection process involving both internal and external candidates,” said William Johnson, the chair of the company’s nominating and corporate governance committee and is a member of the executive committee. He will assume the role of non-executive chairman on Sept. 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.
He also congratulated Abney “on a truly exceptional career at UPS. He has undertaken bold actions to place UPS at the forefront of the transportation industry and position its global network and people to capitalize on emerging trends that will carry the company well into the future.”
Before becoming CEO, Abney began serving as chief operating officer in 2007. Prior to that, he was president of UPS International.
Contributing: The Associated Press