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Leathers named chairman at Werner; CL Werner is chairman emeritus

Planned transition approved by board

Derek Leathers new chairman at Werner (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Transportation and logistics provider Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ: WERN) announced Tuesday after the market close that its board has approved a planned transition in leadership.

The company’s founder and former chairman, Clarence L. “CL” Werner, has been named chairman emeritus “in recognition of his longstanding leadership.”

Derek Leathers, CEO and president, has been appointed chairman of the board. He took on the role of vice chairman when the succession plan was announced nearly a year ago.

Leathers has a 30-year career in transportation and logistics, logging more than 20 years with Werner. He took the helm, running daily operations at Werner, in 2016.

“I created this company when I was 19, with just one truck, and I’ve watched as Derek has continued to grow Werner Enterprises,” said CL Werner. “Hiring Derek was one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made, and I know the company will continue to thrive and flourish under his leadership, along with the entire management team.”

Today, the Omaha, Nebraska-based company is one of the nation’s largest truckload carriers, with 7,800 trucks generating nearly $2.5 billion in annual revenue.


“Werner Enterprises was a company built by a driver, for drivers, and I’m honored to continue CL’s legacy,” said Leathers. “One of the reasons the company has remained successful is because of CL’s respect for professional drivers. We couldn’t keep America moving without them, and he understands their importance. His integrity and his ability to connect with our drivers is why he is admired by so many.”

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Todd Maiden

Based in Richmond, VA, Todd is the finance editor at FreightWaves. Prior to joining FreightWaves, he covered the TLs, LTLs, railroads and brokers for RBC Capital Markets and BB&T Capital Markets. Todd began his career in banking and finance before moving over to transportation equity research where he provided stock recommendations for publicly traded transportation companies.