Thom Albrecht appointed executive vp – chief financial and strategy officer of Celadon Group

Celadon truck.jpg

Celadon Group has announced the appointment of Thom Albrecht as executive vice president – chief financial and strategy officer. The appointment is effective immediately.

Albrecht is president of consulting firm Sword & Sea Transport, where he focused on market research, growth strategies, and capacity overviews for freight transportation carriers and shippers. He is a Board of Advisors’ member of TransRisk, which is developing a real-time data analytics platform and financial freight futures contracts for trucking and logistics companies.

Thom Albrecht

Thom Albrecht

“Having covered Celadon and its peers for nearly three decades, I feel uniquely positioned to impact key challenges facing the company,” Albrecht said in a release. “My three main areas of focus will be business strategy, profitability, and timely and transparent financial reporting. In relation to the latter, Celadon is conducting a search for an experienced chief accounting officer to supplement our team. As I have become acquainted with the Board, Paul, and the rest of the management team, I am confident that we have the focus on the future and the necessary tools to reclaim Celadon's status as a leader in the truckload and logistics business.”

“Thom is as knowledgeable about the truckload industry as anyone in the country,” John Larkin, managing director of transport and logistics for Stifel Equity Research, told FreightWaves. “He will be a valuable addition to Paul Svidland’s revitalized management team in Indianapolis, as Paul endeavors to return Celadon to its NAFTA-oriented, dry van roots. Thom fully understands the key success drivers within truckload operations and also has a well-honed strategic view with respect to how the truckload industry will evolve over the next 5-10 years.”

Albrecht has been a transportation industry financial analyst since 1988. Prior to founding Sword & Sea, he served as managing director at BB&T Capital Markets for 12 years covering truckload and LTL carriers, intermodal, selected equipment companies, freight brokerage and freight forwarding. Before rejoining BB&T in 2009, Albrecht was a managing director at Stephens Inc. and has also followed the sector at ABN AMRO, Inc., and A.G. Edwards.

“We are pleased and excited to have Thom join our team,” said Paul Svindland, CEO. “Thom's knowledge of our industry and the challenges and opportunities we face is extensive. In addition, he brings deep understanding of the operating performance that drives financial results. I am confident that Thom's expertise will be invaluable as we seek to improve our results, refinance our capital structure, shed non-core assets, and more effectively deploy capital in our core business units. I look forward to working with him and the rest of the management team as we seek to continue to execute our strategic initiatives and begin a new chapter for Celadon.”

Albrecht has provided advice and insight to numerous companies, including public and private carriers' teams and their boards of directors, as well as shippers' teams and has been involved with approximately 40 IPO, follow on, and secondary public stock offerings. He repeatedly has been recognized as a Wall Street Journal All-Star, per its analyst rankings, and as the best analyst in his sector among regional/boutique firms by Institutional Investor magazine.

Albrecht is on the Federal Reserve Beige Book committee and also on the Board of Directors for Forward Air Corporation (FWRD), a transportation and logistics company servicing the air freight and expedited LTL industry.

Albrecht succeeds Bobby Peavler as CFO. Peavler will continue to be a resource for Celadon.

“I would like to thank Bobby Peavler for his dedicated service as Celadon’s CFO and Principal Accounting Officer over the last several years. We very much appreciate his help in transitioning the CFO role to Thom,” Svindland said.

In an interview earlier this year with FreightWaves, Svindland talked about Celadon returning its focus to its core competencies.

“[COO] Jonathan Russell and I and the entire management team are on the same page and on the same mission and that is to get Celadon back to being the best trucking company,” Svindland said.

That mission includes reviewing all aspects of the operation, he said, hinting that some divisions that did not align with the goal going forward could be sold off. In September, the company announced it was selling its flatbed division to PS Logistics.

“Our new management team determined that we had neither the expertise nor the critical mass to compete in the flatbed sector,” Svindland said at the time. “Accordingly, we were pleased to offer our people and customers a good home with one of the largest and most successful flatbed operators in the U.S. The remaining CTSI business is undergoing an intense improvement phase with multiple initiatives taking hold into a rapidly improving freight marketplace.  We expect to continue to execute on our strategic plan as we seek to refinance our capital structure.”