FedEx CEO steps down, appoints company’s president as successor

Amanda Salazar, Editor-in-Chief

FedEx Corp. CEO and founder Frederick “Fred” Smith will step down from his role in the company on June 1, according to an announcement from the package delivery company on March 28.

Smith appointed FedEx COO and President Raj Subramaniam to take over the role of CEO, while retaining his position as the company’s president. Smith will then become the executive chairman.

One of the company’s current directors, R. Brad Martin, is set to become the vice chairman and designated successor to the chairman during the transition.

“As we look toward what’s next, I have a great sense of satisfaction that a leader of the caliber of Raj Subramaniam will take FedEx into a very successful future,” Smith said, as reported in an article from NDTV.

When Smith founded FedEx in 1973 in Memphis, Tennessee, the service would only deliver small packages and documents, with the appeal of completing deliveries faster than the United States Postal Service.

At this time, the company only owned 14 airplanes and managed 389 employees. On its first day of operation, FedEx delivered 186 packages. In 2021, FedEx delivered an average of 12 million packages each day.

“FedEx has changed the world by connecting people and possibilities for the last 50 years,” Smith said in a statement to FedEx staff.

Subramaniam joined FedEx in 1991. Initially, he worked in marketing and management in both Asia and the United States, and he later went on to become the chief marketing and communications officer. He was also the president and CEO of FedEx Express, the company’s express shipping service.

“Fred is a visionary leader and a legend of the business world,” Subramaniam said in a statement. “He founded one of the world’s greatest and most admired companies, and it is my honour and privilege to step into this role and build upon what he has created.”

In 2019, Subramaniam became the president and chief operating officer. He was also made a member of the FedEx board of directors in 2020, a role that he will retain as CEO.

“Raj is an accomplished and proven leader, and he has the full support of the Board,” David Steiner — the chair of the governance, safety and public policy committee for FedEx’s board of directors — said. “He has more than 30 years of global experience across strategy and operations and has led the company through a period of tremendous growth. I am confident that Raj will build on this foundation and take the company to even greater heights.”