More key Arkansas Best Corp. management changes within the past six months were announced late Tuesday, and appear to be caused by the resignation of Chris Baltz, the former senior vice president of yield management and strategic development for the transportation holding company.
The management moves appear to show the troubled trucking company shifting corporate responsibilities rather than replacing Baltz.
Fort Smith-based Arkansas Best Corp. reported in a press release issued after 7 p.m., April 27 that Baltz had resigned and James Ingram would assume a portion of his duties. Ingram, previously the vice president of market development will add the responsibilities of strategic development, effective immediately. His new title, according to the statement, will be vice president of strategic development.
“I am pleased to have Jim Ingram add these responsibilities to his current duties,” Judy McReynolds, ABC president and CEO, said in the statement. “Throughout his time with our company he has demonstrated a strong analytical ability and his keen insight will be important in identifying future opportunities for Arkansas Best.”
The move will also see Roy Slagle, ABF senior vice president of sales and marketing, assume responsibility for ABF’s yield management. Daniel Loe was promoted to vice president of yield management for ABF, reporting to Roy Slagle.
Slagle is a 38-year veteran of the transportation industry and has 34 years with ABF. Loe began his career at ABF in 1997 as an analyst in the pricing department and held various positions during his 7 years in that area. He assumed his current position, as ABF director of marketing and public relations, in 2004.
As to the Baltz resignation, McReynolds noted in the statement: “Finally, I’d like to thank Chris Baltz for his 21 years of service to ABF and Arkansas Best. Throughout his time here our company has greatly benefited in a number of different areas from his positive contributions. I am sorry he has decided to leave us at this time, but I wish Chris and his family the best in the future.”
On Oct. 21, 2009, Robert Davidson announced he was retiring as Arkansas Best CEO effective Dec. 31. Judy McReynolds, then the senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer, was picked to succeed Davidson and become Arkansas Best’s president and CEO on Jan. 1.
On Dec. 5, J. Lavon Morton was promoted to the position of senior vice president, tax and chief audit executive; Donald W. Pearson to vice president, treasurer; and R. David Humphrey to vice president, investor relations and corporate communications.
The company has yet to find a new CFO.
On April 23, Arkansas Best Corp. reported that it lost $21.4 million in the first quarter of 2010, and a recent internal memo to company employees suggests more difficult times ahead for the trucking company. The company burned through $10 million of its cash reserves during the first quarter of 2010.
Arkansas Best, which employs about 9,500 nationwide, posted a 2009 net income loss of $127.52 million, compared to a $29.168 million gain in 2008. However, the 2009 income loss includes a non-cash accounting charge of $64 million for the impairment of goodwill. Total revenue in 2009 was $1.472 billion, a 19.6% dip from 2008 revenue of $1.833 billion.