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Quiet Platforms president leaves company

Natarajan’s immediate departure comes amid workforce cuts, slowing macro climate

Quiet Platforms president leaves as parent AEO tightens the belts (Photo: Shuttrstock)

Shekar Natarajan is out as president of logistics provider Quiet Platforms.

In a statement issued late Monday, the company said that Natarajan had exited the company, effective immediately. His departure was due to disappointing results at Quiet and the need to pull back on expenses in order to “reset the business,” according to a memo from retailing giant AEO Inc. (NYSE: AEO), Quiet’s parent.

Niall Murphy, a longtime entrepreneur who joined Quiet in December as chief business officer, will assume interim operational oversight and responsibility for Quiet.                                                                      

“We believe Quiet will continue to deliver results for AEO, and over time has the potential to be a meaningful and profitable third party logistics provider,” the parent said in a statement. “With the support of our experienced leadership team, we remain focused on driving the business forward.”

Quiet said it will be reducing head count to bring operations more in line with current trends. It did not specify. It has employees providing same-day and next-day delivery and fulfillment services in Los Angeles, Dallas, St. Louis and Jacksonville, Florida.

Natarajan was unavailable to comment on Tuesday. A story appearing Monday night on the website Insider cited an internal memo saying that he had left the company last week.

Natarajan was clearly the face of the fledgling company, and his departure, regardless of the circumstances, removes that. Quiet was established last year to provide physical and IT backbone to AEO and other retailers and to deliver parcels without relying on the established players. Its network had been growing rapidly as retailers migrated to a company that could stitch together first-mile, middle-mile and last-mile delivery services using a network of 40 carriers.

Natarajan was interviewed by FreightWaves earlier this year about his firm’s ability to scale fast to handle delivery surges in the event the Teamsters union strikes UPS Inc. (NYSE: UPS) this summer.

Natarajan said at the time that Quiet could do just that. “We went from zero to 50 million packages a year in nine months,” he said.

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.