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FedEx founder’s son to take reins of flagship division

Richard Smith to succeed Donald Colleran as president and CEO of FedEx Express

FedEx suspends certain money-back guarantees for some holiday shipments (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

FedEx Corp. said late Thursday that Richard W. Smith, the son of FedEx founder, Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith, will become president and CEO of FedEx Express, the company’s air and international unit and what is still its core business.

Smith (pictured) will succeed Donald F. Colleran, who will retire on Dec. 31 after 33 years with the Memphis, Tennessee-based company (NYSE: FDX). Smith will become the unit’s president and CEO-elect on April 1 and take over full duties on Sept. 1. Colleran will remain at the unit as CEO executive adviser through the end of December.

The younger Smith currently serves as the unit’s regional president of the Americas and executive vice president of global support. He joined FedEx in 2005 and has held numerous high-level positions at the company.

Colleran joined FedEx in 1989 after it acquired air cargo carrier Flying Tigers the prior year. Colleran worked in international sales and operations management from 1992 to 2017, at which time he was named to his current position.

FedEx Express, the business that built the company’s legendary brand, today generates more than half of the parent’s annual revenue.


Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.