FedEx has fast-forwarded its top leadership changes including Frederick W. Smith’s replacement by David J. Bronczek as president. Bronczek was shifted into the president’s role 1 March, 11 months sooner than FedEx had announced in September, while Smith will remain chairman and chief executive officer. FedEx cited better-than-expected progress in integrating European acquisition TNT Express for the modified timetable.
“While this was announced last September, substantial progress in integrating the TNT acquisition into FedEx Express now allows us to accelerate Dave’s promotion by 11 months in advance of Fiscal Year 2018. He is uniquely qualified to take on the position of president and COO,” Smith said. “Under Dave’s leadership for the past 17 years, the FedEx Express team has achieved outstanding financial results and service levels.”
The promotion could be seen as positioning Bronczek, 62, as a potential successor to Smith, though the 72-year-old company founder has shown no indications of leaving.
Bronczek joined FedEx in 1976 and came up through the ranks in pickup and delivery operations. He became a managing director of operations in 1983. He has been president and chief executive of FedEx Express since 2000 after serving as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the unit. Bronczek also will serve as chief operating officer, responsible for marketing, sales and all FedEx operating companies – FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and FedEx Office.
FedEx also named David L. Cunningham to succeed Bronczek as president and chief executive officer of FedEx Express. Cunningham previously was regional president of FedEx’s Asia Pacific Region and served most recently as executive vice president and chief operating officer. He will be responsible for the leadership and direction of FedEx Express and TNT Express. He’ll also serve on the FedEx Corp. strategic management committee.
“Beginning more than 30 years ago at the Memphis World Hub, David Cunningham has progressed through the FedEx ranks and served in leadership roles in finance, as well as domestic and international operations. These experiences have prepared him to lead FedEx Express – our largest operating company,” said Smith.
Cunningham joined FedEx in 1982 as a part-timer involved in the loading and unloading of aircraft. His 34-year career with the company has exclusively been with the express division and he has spent the last 23 years in Asia.
Stints in Hong Kong as chief financial officer and then vice president of Asia Pacific, were followed by a move to Singapore as regional vice president for the South Pacific. He then returned to Hong Kong as regional president of Asia Pacific, and was then appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer for the region.
“He is another excellent example of our promote from within philosophy. The progress we have made on multiple strategic projects makes it possible for us to accelerate the timing of both of these promotions, while continuing to achieve our important objectives at FedEx Express,” Smith added.