Con-way Inc. said today that John G. Labrie, president of its Con-way Freight less-than-truckload division, has left the company, effective immediately.
Douglas W. Stotlar, president and CEO of parent company Con-way Inc., will become interim president of Con-way Freight and hold the post for the next six to 12 months, the company said. Con-way gave no specifics about Labrie's departure other than to say he left to "pursue other interests."
In a statement, Con-way said Stotlar's mission will be to focus on "increasing profitability through yield improvement, cost reduction, and operating discipline."
While the trucking industry overall has experienced a rebound in traffic and an improvement in pricing, the LTL segment continues to struggle with modest volume gains compared to the truckload sector, overcapacity, and intense pricing competition among carriers.
In a research note, analysts at JPMorgan Chase said Con-way Freight continues to struggle to make pricing gains despite what they called a "large bucket of underpriced freight." The analysts said the company's operating ratio—the ratio of revenue versus expenses—of 97.9 percent indicates it is having trouble translating an improving demand environment into profitable business.
The analysts expect Stotlar to take an "aggressive approach" toward cost controls and yield management, which will mean shedding unprofitable business in return for accepting less tonnage. However, the Morgan analysts don't expect Stotlar's efforts to bear meaningful fruit in the current quarter.
Labrie's departure follows that of Sean Devine, vice president of pricing and engineering for Con-way Freight, who previously left the company.