Michael Byrne announces he is stepping down as the managing director of Toll Group on 31 December 2019 after three years in the role. Thomas Knudsen will be the new managing director of Toll Group, effective 1 January 2020.
Knudsen is currently president of Toll Group’s Global Forwarding division, which he began in January 2018. Originally from Denmark, Knudsen has over twenty-five years’ experience in freight forwarding and contract logistics, including living and working across Asia, Australia, the US, Europe and the Middle East. Knudsen will continue to be based in Singapore.
Toll Group chairman John Mullen said Byrne, together with his team, has led Toll Group through numerous challenges since his appointment in January 2017.
“Michael was appointed as managing director at a pivotal time for the company,” Mullen says. “Under Michael’s leadership, Toll has delivered on a comprehensive transformation program resulting in improved safety, a more efficient operating model, stronger operations, and better governance across compliance, tax and regulatory matters. Toll is now well-positioned because of the foundations that Michael has created.
“Thomas is a seasoned logistics executive with proven capability to lead through significant change and growth across Asia in what is a very challenging environment,” Mullen says. “Thomas was a standout candidate because of his deep knowledge of the industry, deep understanding of Asia, global experience and track record in building high performing international teams. The internal appointment will provide continuity while bringing fresh perspectives and ideas.”
Byrne said his time as MD had been focused on developing a strong safety culture, building a strong leadership team and renewing the fundamentals of the business.
“I am proud of the enormous strides we have made that will position the company for future growth. Our journey to be a truly global, world class logistics company is a long-term aspiration. We have achieved much as a team, but there is a lot more to do,” Byrne adds.
Knudsen said he was delighted to have been appointed MD to build on Mr Byrne’s transformation of Toll Group.
“The Toll Board has exciting ambitions to expand Toll’s operations in Australia, Asia and the rest of the world. We have enormous opportunity and I look forward to get to work,” Knudsen says.
In line with the company’s ambitions to improve the performance of the Australian Global Express division while driving growth in Asia, Bruce Wilson, president Global Express, will assume full accountability for the operations and performance of the division.
“The arrangement ensures Toll customers benefit from dedicated focus on the Australian Global Express operations while the company pursues growth opportunities for Toll and our customers in Asia and the rest of the world,” Mullen adds.