May 24, 2017

Former Celadon president and COO to receive $20,000 a month for consulting

Meek will engage with company on as-needed basis, it says.

By DC Velocity Staff

The former president and COO of truckload and logistics carrier Celadon Group Inc., who resigned late last month after Celadon forecast a $10 million fiscal third-quarter operating loss, will be paid $20,000 a month for the next 10 months for consulting services, according to a filing last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The filing, dated May 18, said Eric Meek would perform consulting services for the Indianapolis-based company on an as-needed basis. Celadon did not specify in the filing what services that Meek, who stepped down April 28, might provide. The first payment was made May 15, according to the filing.

Celadon, one of the 20 largest truckload carriers in the U.S. with a strong presence in the cross-border segment, blamed the quarterly loss on the poor performance of its irregular route truckload operations. In a May 3 analyst call, Jon Russell, who was named president and COO of Celadon Group and oversees all trucking operations, cited a litany of problems facing the company's truckload business. One area Russell addressed was an over-reliance on recruiting owner-operators, a strategy that he said has resulted in increased deadhead miles, reduced equipment utilization, and longer driver dwell times in certain markets.

Russell, whose father Steve founded Celadon in 1985, said the company will recruit more company drivers, and focus its recruitment footprint on smaller, regional geographies rather than casting a nationwide net. In addition, Celadon plans to shift business not moving in its "core lanes" to be handled by its logistics group, Russell said.

Russell had run Celadon Logistics since 2010. Along with Russell's appointment, Doug Schmidt was named president of the company's Celadon Trucking unit, where he oversees all truckload operations.

Celadon has yet to issue its fiscal third-quarter results after disclosing earlier this month that financial statements for the past six quarters ending last Dec. 31 should not be relied upon. The company's finances have been thrown into question over a joint venture involving its truck-leasing division.

Celadon said early this month that it had hoped to release results on or about May 15.

Celadon shares have been in free fall for the past two years. Peaking in the high $20s a share in the first half of 2015, shares trade today at $2.17 a share.

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