September 20, 2013

Rogers fired as head of YRC Freight

YRC CEO Welch takes control of unit.

By Mark B. Solomon

Jeffrey A. Rogers, the president of YRC Freight, the long-haul unit of less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier YRC Worldwide Inc., was fired today, according to industry sources.

James L. Welch, YRC's CEO, has assumed responsibility for the unit, according to industry sources. Welch was unhappy with the pace of progress at the division and had become increasingly involved in the unit's affairs, according to industry sources.

The company is expected to make an announcement after the equity market closed at 4 pm Eastern time.

Rogers was named president of YRC Freight in September 2011 after three years running YRC's profitable Holland subsidiary. Prior to that, he served as chief financial officer of the YRC regional companies, which includes three in the U.S. and one in Canada.

Rogers was named to the YRC Freight post shortly after Welch assumed the reins at the parent company. At the time, YRC was struggling badly with much of its problems laid at the feet of the long-haul operation, which accounts for about 60 percent of the company's revenue. The long-haul unit is the amalgamation of the former Yellow Transportation and Roadway Express. Yellow bought Roadway in 2003 but in the past decade has struggled mightily to profitably integrate the two companies.

YRC Freight was believed to be making headway—albeit haltingly—under Rogers. In last year's fourth quarter, the unit's operating ratio—the ratio of revenues to expenses and a gauge of a transport company's efficiency and profitability—improved 600 basis points year-over-year to 97.3, the company's best fourth-quarter operating ratio in six years.

However, the unit posted a lower second-quarter revenue and a wider operating loss over the year-earlier quarter. Company executives attributed the declines to the impact of a major network realignment implemented in May, a period that coincided with an increase in traffic. As a result, operations and service quality were affected, the company said.

About the Author

Mark B. Solomon
Executive Editor - News
Mark Solomon joined DC VELOCITY as senior editor in August 2008, and was promoted to his current position on January 1, 2015. He has spent more than 30 years in the transportation, logistics and supply chain management fields as a journalist and public relations professional. From 1989 to 1994, he worked in Washington as a reporter for the Journal of Commerce, covering the aviation and trucking industries, the Department of Transportation, Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to that, he worked for Traffic World for seven years in a similar role. From 1994 to 2008, Mr. Solomon ran Media-Based Solutions, a public relations firm based in Atlanta. He graduated in 1978 with a B.A. in journalism from The American University in Washington, D.C.

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