Shelley Simpson's career at J.B. Hunt spans nearly 30 years and a wide range of executive leadership roles. - Photo: J.B. Hunt

Shelley Simpson's career at J.B. Hunt spans nearly 30 years and a wide range of executive leadership roles.

Photo: J.B. Hunt

J.B. Hunt Transport Services named Shelley Simpson chief executive officer and president, effective July 1 of this year, and nominated her for election to the board of directors at the company’s April annual shareholders’ meeting.

Simpson has served as the company’s president since August 1, 2022.

Kirk Thompson, current executive chairman of the board, along with Wayne Garrison, will retire from board at the end of their current terms and will take new advisory roles as non-voting honorary founding directors. 

John N. Roberts III, outgoing CEO, will assume the role of executive chairman of the board upon Kirk Thompson’s retirement.

The changes are part of the company’s succession planning and board development to support future growth.

About Shelley Simpson

Simpson’s career at J.B. Hunt spans nearly 30 years and a wide range of executive leadership roles.

  • In 2007, she helped found Integrated Capacity Solutions and was named president of the business unit.
  • She assumed sales and marketing executive responsibilities in 2011 as chief marketing officer.
  • She took on additional leadership roles in 2014 when she was named president of J.B. Hunt’s Truckload business segment.
  • She was named chief commercial officer and president of Highway Services in 2017 and led the strategic direction and launch of the J.B. Hunt 360° platform.
  • In 2020, Simpson added responsibilities for people and human resources, and was named president in 2022.

In 2016, Simpson was named the Distinguished Woman in Logistics by the Women in Trucking Association. In 2023, WIT named her the Influential Woman in Trucking.

Preserving the Experience of Thompson and Garrison

The creation of honorary founding director positions for Thompson, a director since 1985, and Garrison, a director since 1981, will help preserve the experiences they have to contribute. Thompson joined the company in 1973 and served as president and CEO from 1987 through 2010. Garrison joined the company in 1976, becoming its president in 1982 and CEO in 1985, and served as chairman of the board from 1995 to 2010.

Retiring from the board before reaching the company’s director age-limitations, Thompson and Garrison will not stand for re-election at the company’s annual shareholders meeting to allow for additional independent directors to join the board in the future.

In January 2024, the Board welcomed Pat Ottensmeyer, former CEO and president of the Kansas City Southern Railroad, as a new independent director, following the addition of two other independent directors in recent years, Thad Hill and Persio Lisboa.

“These board and management changes reflect our commitment to developing strong leadership, listening to our stakeholders, and enhancing our corporate governance, particularly regarding board independence, while retaining the significant value our long-standing leaders provide,” said Roberts.

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