Don Daseke will retire from his roles as chief executive officer and chairman of the board of the flatbed trucking company he founded, effective immediately. Chief Operating Officer Chris Easter will serve as interim CEO.
Daseke will continue as a member of the board with the title of chairman emeritus and will advise Easter to ensure a smooth transition while the board searches for a permanent replacement. The board of directors has also appointed Brian Bonner as the executive chairman effective immediately.
Under Daseke's tenure, the company grew from $30 million in revenue in 2009 to more than $1.6 billion last year, noted the Dallas Morning News. "He engineered the growth through a series of acquisitions that made Daseke the nation's largest flatbed and specialized trucking company."
“Don has been an inspirational force for Daseke since its inception and has led the company with vision and integrity throughout his tenure,” said Bonner. “The board has the utmost regard for Don and wholly respects his decision to pass the reins of leadership for the next phase of Daseke’s evolution. We’re pleased that his enthusiasm and business sense will remain with the Board as he continues as a director of the company.”
Daseke, who is 79, stepped down as president of the flatbed carrier in early 2018 and the company appointed former chief financial officer Scott Wheeler as his replacement in the role.
The company’s financials have fallen on hard times in recent years. The publicly traded company saw its stock drop from a high of $5.56 per share in 2019 to just $1.80 at the time of publication. In its most recent earnings call, the company lowered its forecast for adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, by 17%, citing weakness in the flatbed market.
“I am incredibly proud of what we have built over the last decade,” said Daseke. “Daseke remains a truly unique company, with a platform designed to support future growth on both the top- and bottom-lines. I am leaving the company in the hands of a very strong and deep leadership team across the organization. Investing in people has always been my guiding principle and we have invested in this team, which makes me very confident that they will help Daseke achieve its full potential.”