Forward Air announces new president and CEO

  (Photo: Forward Air)

(Photo: Forward Air)

Forward Air Corporation’s Board of Directors elected a new company president and chief executive officer as part of its succession planning process this week.

The Tennessee-based company provides services in four business segments, including expedited LTL, truckload premium services, intermodal and pool distribution.

Thomas Schmitt will take over from Bruce Campbell, who has served as the company’s president since 1998 and CEO since 2003.

Schmitt is currently the chief commercial officer for Schenker AG, a $20 billion global logistics company. He has also served as a member of the management board since he joined the company in 2015.

Schmitt will take over as president and CEO of Forward Air at the end of his time with Schenker AG. A coordinated transition plan is expected to be completed in the fall of 2018, according to a media release from Forward Air.

Before joining AG Schenker, Schmitt served as CEO and president of premium water export company AquaTerra Corporation. He has held leadership roles in multiple transportation and logistics companies in the past, including Atlanta-based McKinsey+Company, FedEx Global Supply Chain Services and Tennessee- and Canada-based Purolator, according to the release.

Campbell will step down from his role at Forward Air when Schmitt joins the team. Campbell will then take on the title of executive chairman, continuing to serve as chairman of the board of directors, according to the company.

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“It is expected that Mr. Campbell will remain as executive chairman until the company's 2019 annual meeting of shareholders, at which time, in order to ensure a continued, successful management transition, the company plans to retain Mr. Campbell as a consultant for a period of time following his resignation as executive chairman,” the release states.

Schmitt thanked Campbell for his leadership after the news was announced.

"I am certain I can speak on behalf of the entire Forward Air team in thanking Bruce Campbell for his decades of leading the right way with incredible passion, energy and impact," Schmitt said. "I am honored to join him and our Forward Air teammates to build on the remarkable reality they have created."

Campbell also spoke highly of Schmitt.

"It has been a tremendous honor to serve as the President and CEO of Forward Air Corporation, and I am incredibly proud of everything our team has accomplished together,” Campbell said. “The Board and I are confident that Tom is the right person to lead our team and build on our momentum." Campbell continued, "Tom is a highly strategic leader with extensive experience in many areas of the transportation and logistics industry. We are fortunate to have him as our next CEO."

Forward Air also announced the following changes in a media release:

  • Chris Ruble, president expedited services, has been appointed as chief operating officer of the company's expedited business, which includes the expedited LTL, truckload and pool segments. Ruble joined Forward Air in 1996.

  • Matthew Jewell, president, logistics services, has been appointed as president of the company's intermodal business. Jewell joined Forward Air in 2002.