The three top executives of the former Menlo Worldwide Logistics, the global contract logistics arm of the former Con-Way Inc., were let go Friday as XPO Logistics Inc., which bought Con-way last year for $3 billion, cleaned out the unit's upper-management echelon.
Robert Bianco, the former Menlo's president, left the company Friday, Greenwich, Conn.-based XPO confirmed. Gary Kowalski, the former unit's chief operating officer, also left Friday, XPO also confirmed. According to two industry sources, Bob Bassett, the former unit's vice president, sales and marketing, has left, as has Carl Fowler, vice president of sales and solutions, who is believed to have been Bassett's heir apparent prior to the XPO acquisition. Also departing is Mike Greene, a vice president who, according to his LinkedIn profile, oversaw the company's largest high-tech account, which was unidentified.
Bassett was let go Friday, and Fowler and Greene left yesterday, according to one source.
In a statement, Gary Frantz, an XPO spokesman, said Bianco's and Kowalski's departures were part of a broad effort to "eliminate redundancies" in the organization. "We're integrating the former Menlo operations into our global supply chain organization, where we already have a seasoned executive team in place in North America and Europe," Frantz said. The statement credited Bianco and Kowalski for building a high-quality operation during the past two decades.
Frantz did not respond to comment on the reports of the other departures.
Bianco was with the former Menlo for 19 years, and spent more than 10 years as president, according to his LinkedIn profile. Kowalski worked for the former unit for two decades, according to his profile.
According to one source, XPO is well stocked with contract-logistics executives from New Breed Logistics and French firm Norbert Dentressangle S.A., which were both acquired by XPO over the past two years. In addition, Jacobson Co., a U.S. firm acquired by Norbert in 2014, had a deep bench of contract logistics executives. Dr. Ashfaque Chowdhury, who had been New Breed's executive vice president and chief information officer prior to its purchase by XPO, now runs its supply chain business in the Americas and Asia-Pacific.
The executives of the former Menlo were "the last to the table," one source said. Despite their abilities and experience, "the pegs were already in place," meaning that executives from XPO-acquired firms had effectively taken over their roles. All five departing executives are highly regarded, the source said.
Menlo had a strong global presence in warehousing and distribution services, with customers that included Amazon.com, HP Inc., and Nike Inc. In 2014, it generated gross revenue of $1.7 billion, with net revenue—revenue after the costs of purchased services—of $748 million, according to Armstrong & Associates Inc., a consultancy. Menlo ranks 41st among Armstrong's top 50 third party logistics (3PL) providers.