Robert Stoffel, who rose from a part-time loader at UPS Inc. to eventually build and run the company's far-flung supply chain management operations, will retire Jan. 1 after 35 years with UPS, the company said today.
Stoffel will retire as senior vice president for supply chain, strategy, engineering, and sustainability. There will not be a direct replacement for his position; instead, David Abney, UPS's chief operating officer, will assume Stoffel's duties for supply chain, engineering, and sustainability. Alan Gershenhorn, senior vice president for worldwide sales and marketing, will take over Stoffel's work in the strategy category, UPS said.
For the past six years, Stoffel has sat on UPS's Management Committee, the 12-person group that runs the Atlanta-based giant. His retirement reduces the group's size to 11.
UPS spokesman Norman Black said it's not surprising that a direct successor to Stoffel has not been named and that his multiple roles will be divvied up among other management committee members. "There's no question [Stoffel's] responsibilities are important ones, but it's not unusual at all for our assignments to evolve and for the size of our management committee to vary," Black said in an e-mail.
Stoffel joined UPS in 1975 in metro Chicago as a part-time loader/unloader while earning a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Illinois-Chicago. In 2000, the year after UPS went public, Stoffel became responsible for integrating many of UPS's non-package acquisitions to build what is now a global logistics network.
In 2004, Stoffel was named to head what was then known as the Supply Chain Group, after leading one of its four units—UPS Supply Chain Solutions. Up to then, he had overseen the integration of 16 acquired companies into UPS Supply Chain Solutions.
Since then, Stoffel's responsibilities have expanded to encompass oversight of the corporate strategy and engineering departments, as well as the UPS Capital financing unit. Most recently, he was tapped to serve as the single point of contact for UPS's sustainability and environmental programs.
The growing role of logistics in UPS's overall business was demonstrated earlier this year when the company rolled out a global advertising platform built around the tag line "We Love Logistics," its most expensive marketing campaign to date.
"It's easy sometimes to forget how far we've come and how fast we started moving after our strategic shift beyond package delivery," said D. Scott Davis, UPS's chairman and CEO, in a statement. "But UPS is a very different company today because of Bob's commitment and those of his colleagues to expanding that side of our business."