XPO Logistics, founded by Michigan-based entrepreneurial whiz Bradley S. Jacobs to create a non asset-based logistics conglomerate mostly through acquisitions, has brought on board several high-profile executives whose names will be very familiar to the transportation community.
XPO has named Richard M. Metzler, a long-time transportation executive, as senior vice president-acquisitions. Metzler, who most recently worked as a consultant to BNSF Logistics, the logistics arm of BNSF Railway and another concern that's focused on acquisitions, will oversee XPO's acquisitions strategy. Metzler will share the role with J. Thomas Connolly, former managing partner at EVE Partners LLC, a financial advisory firm that specializes in the transport-logistics sector. Connolly will also hold the title of senior vice president-acquisitions.
XPO has also hired Gregory W. Ritter, one of the nation's top truck brokerage executives, as senior vice president, brokerage operations. Ritter, who ran the brokerage operations for truckload carrier Knight Transportation after spending 22 years with third-party logistics giant C.H. Robinson Worldwide, will oversee the launch and development of North American truck brokerage operations, handle due diligence functions relating to prospective acquisitions, and manage sales and carrier procurement workforce duties, XPO said in a statement.
Ritter's role may be the most pivotal at XPO, which is focusing on building a national truck brokerage network through acquisitions. The Buchanan, Mich.-based company said it would also look at companies in the freight forwarding and intermodal industries as possible acquisition targets.
XPO operates three business units: expedited transportation provider Express-1, freight forwarder Concert Group Logistics, and truck broker Bounce Logistics. XPO said it is opening a truck brokerage location later this month in Phoenix in what Jacobs described as the first step in "an aggressive expansion of our truck brokerage footprint."
In September, Jacobs and other investors finalized a $150 million investment in Express-1 Expedited Solutions. At the time, the company was renamed XPO Logistics and Jacobs became chairman.
Jacobs, 55, started United Rentals Inc., the world's largest equipment rental company, and United Waste Systems Inc., which was the nation's fifth-largest solid waste company at the time of its 1997 sale to United Waste Services for $2 billion.
The executive appointments came as publicly traded XPO reported third-quarter revenues from continuing operations of $47.4 million, a 6.6-percent increase over the same period in 2010. Net income from continuing operations came in at $190,000, compared with net income of $1.7 million in the year-earlier period.