FedEx Corp. CEO and founder Frederick “Fred” Smith will step down from the company on June 1, according to a March 28 announcement from the package delivery company.
Smith named FedEx COO and Chairman Raj Subramaniam to assume the role of CEO, while retaining his role as company president. Smith will then become the executive chairman.
One of the company’s current directors, R. Brad Martin, is expected to become vice chairman and designated successor to the chairman during the transition.
“As we look ahead, I have a great sense of satisfaction that a leader of the caliber of Raj Subramaniam will lead FedEx into a very successful future,” Smith said, as reported by NDTV.
When Smith founded FedEx in 1973 in Memphis, Tennessee, the service delivered only small packages and documents, with the allure of making deliveries faster than the United States Postal Service.
At that time, the company only owned 14 aircraft and managed 389 employees. On its first day of operation, FedEx delivered 186 packages. In 2021, FedEx delivered an average of 12 million packages every day.
“FedEx has changed the world by connecting people and possibilities for the past 50 years,” Smith said in a statement to FedEx staff.
Subramaniam joined FedEx in 1991. Initially, he worked in marketing and management in Asia and the United States, later becoming director of marketing and communications. He also served as President and CEO of FedEx Express, the company’s express shipping service.
“Fred is a visionary leader and business legend,” Subramaniam said in a statement. “He founded one of the largest and most admired companies in the world, and it is an honor and a privilege for me to take on this role and build on what he has created.”
In 2019 Subramaniam became President and Chief Operating Officer. He was also named to the FedEx Board of Directors in 2020, a role he will continue as CEO.
“Raj is an accomplished and proven leader, and he has the full support of the board of directors,” said David Steiner, chairman of the Governance, Safety and Public Policy Committee of the FedEx Board of Directors. “He has over 30 years of global experience in strategy and operations and has led the company through a period of phenomenal growth. I am confident that Raj will build on this foundation and take the business to even greater heights.