Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings executives are slated to take over leadership roles at U.S. Xpress Enterprises through the pending acquisition of the Tennessee-based carrier.
Tim Harrington, Swift Transportation’s executive vice president of sales, would become president of U.S. Xpress once it becomes a subsidiary of Knight-Swift, according to an investor presentation released Tuesday. Executive Josh Smith, listed on LinkedIn as senior VP of finance for Knight-Swift, would become CFO of the acquired brand.
“Through closing, U.S. Xpress will continue to be led by its current senior management,” the company said in a statement. “At closing, the Fullers along with Eric Peterson, CFO, will transition out of their executive officer roles while remaining available to ensure a smooth transition.”
With the deal, U.S. Xpress CEO and President Eric Fuller, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Max Fuller and CFO Eric Peterson will all depart, VP of Investor Relations Matt Garvie told Transport Dive.
Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings plans to acquire the business for $808 million, which could close in late Q2 or early Q3 of this year.
The carrier noted Harrington and Smith’s leadership following the merger of Knight Transportation and Swift Transportation in 2017. According to Knight-Swift, they “helped achieve significant margin improvement following the Knight-Swift merger,” and “their prior transition experience is expected to make them excellent partners for working with the U.S. Xpress team.”
The goal with preserving the brand is to minimize disruption, but at the same time, “cross-functional teams made up of leaders from Knight, Swift, and U.S. Xpress will work together to leverage economies of scale, freight network efficiencies, and best practices,” according to the companies.
Still, Knight-Swift has traditionally let truckload divisions run themselves, so it's not expected there will be the kinds of synergies that occur in many other industries, Garvie said.