David Abney to be Chairman of UPS

United Parcel Service (UPS) has elected the firm’s CEO David Abney to be the new Chairman of the board of directors. He succeeds Scott Davis as Chairman, with Davis retiring from his position on the UPS board effective from the 2016 Annual Meeting of Shareowners. Abney now combines the Chairman and CEO roles.

The international delivery company has also appointed William R Johnson to a newly created role of Lead Independent director.

In a statement issued yesterday (10 February), UPS said: “Among other responsibilities, the new Lead Independent Director will play an active role in setting future agendas for UPS Board meetings, preside at meetings of independent directors, serve as the liaison between the Chairman and the independent directors, and consult on shareholder engagement and governance matters. Johnson, a former chairman, president and CEO of the H. J. Heinz Company, will continue to serve as Chairperson of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.”

The UPS also rationalised the company’s reasons for combining the CEO and Chairman’s roles: “Our decision to combine the roles of Board Chairman and CEO is a result of thoughtful consideration of the Board’s leadership structure,” said Johnson. “This change will improve strategic alignment and support the company’s ability to deliver value through profitable global growth, operating efficiency, customer satisfaction, and continuous improvement.

“David Abney’s leadership on our Board, combined with many years of distinguished UPS service and a strong track record as CEO have prepared him to fulfill the role of both Chairman and CEO.”

Davis was elected chairman and chief executive officer in 2008 and retired as CEO on 1 September 2014 as part of a previously announced succession plan. Abney is being eased into the joint Chair / CEO role as part of this.