- Old Dominion Freight Line promoted its central region sales vice president, Christopher Kelley, to SVP of operations, the carrier announced Monday.
- Kelley, who has worked for 21 years at the LTL carrier, takes over in the role after David Bates' departure to XPO last month.
- “This promotion reflects Chris’ outstanding prior contributions to our Company and our confidence in his leadership,” outgoing CEO Greg Gantt said in a statement.
The promotion is part of a larger changing of the guard at Thomasville, North Carolina-based Old Dominion — and a broader wave of new executives across the industry, as carriers increasingly seek new leadership.
Kelley’s promotion comes as the carrier prepares for Marty Freeman to take over as CEO beginning July 1.
Bates’ departure occurred less than two months after the company named SVP of sales Greg Plemmons its next COO. Bates was the second longtime Old Dominion executive to take his talents to XPO in as many months. Retired CFO J. Wes Fry joined XPO’s board in March.
One analyst asked Gantt during Old Dominion’s earnings call last week whether the turnover at the top poses a risk to the company.
Gantt, who joined Old Dominion in 1994, assured investors that the some staffers have “nearly as many years ... in the industry as I do.”
“They've been through the thick and thin, the good times, the bad times, and they know who we are, and they know what's made us successful,” he said. “They understand our plan going forward. And I think we're in a great position to continue to execute on that plan.”
“There's always risk,” he added. “Anytime you lose good people, certainly, there's risk. But I feel extremely good about where we are.”