Nebraska-based Werner Enterprises Inc., one of the nation's largest truckload transportation and logistics companies, has announced the promotion of Gregory L. Werner to chief executive officer.
He continues as company president, a position he has held since 1997.
Werner, 47, joined the company in 1977 when Werner Enterprises had 100 trucks. Greg learned the family business from the ground up as an equipment maintenance mechanic, dispatcher, load planner, driver recruiter and treasurer. As the company's fleet grew rapidly in the 1980's, Greg assumed the critical role of vice president of maintenance, using his expert knowledge of trucks and trailers to keep our fleet operating at a high level.
In 1993, Greg also assumed responsibility for the company's Management Information Systems. Under his direction, Werner's computer systems development, capacity and redundancy were greatly enhanced and expanded. In 1994, Greg was elected to the company's board of directors. In 1997, when the company had 5,000 trucks and $700 million of annual revenues, Greg became the company's president. Greg added the responsibility of chief operating officer in 1999.
Over the past decade under Greg's leadership and with the help of a strong management team and the guidance of his father, Clarence L. (C.L.) Werner, Werner Enterprises expanded the fleet to 9,000 trucks, tripled revenues to $2.1 billion with earnings of nearly $100 million, built a world-class logistics business and maintained a strong balance sheet. Greg Werner will succeed C.L. Werner as CEO. The position of chief operating officer will not be replaced.
Brother Gary L. Werner, 49, remains as the company's vice chairman. Gary joined the company in 1976 and was promoted to the company's general manager in 1980. Gary was elected to the company's board of directors when it was formed in 1982. Gary became vice president that year, was promoted to president in 1984, and was president when the company went public in 1986 with a fleet of 600 trucks. Under Gary's leadership, Werner Enterprises grew to 5,000 trucks, an over 700 percent increase, before Greg became president in 1997. Gary, in his role as vice chairman, will continue to actively direct the company's purchasing of revenue equipment and strategic planning.
The breadth and depth of the entire Werner executive management team enable C.L. Werner to step down as CEO of the company he started in 1956 as a sole proprietor. C.L. was the company's first driver and built the company from a one-man, one-truck operation into a $2 billion public company. C.L. Werner, 69, who is the company's largest shareholder with approximately 30 percent ownership of the company's outstanding shares, will remain an active chairman of the board, an officer position he assumed in 1984.
"Greg, Gary and I have worked closely together growing Werner Enterprises for the last 30 years," said C.L. Werner. "Other than 50 years ago, this has never been a one-man operation. Early on I recognized the need to identify and develop a talented management team to aid in the company's long-term growth and success. I am extremely confident of Greg's and Gary's abilities and our entire Werner team.
My health is excellent, and I intend to stay closely involved in the company's business, including spending more time on the road visiting our drivers, terminals and international operations."
"I would like to thank my father for the outstanding training and guidance he has provided me, including my last 30 years at Werner Enterprises," said Greg Werner, who is a 5 percent shareholder of the company. "He taught me the importance of a strong work ethic; he gave me the opportunity and freedom to develop my talents; and he supported me with a strong management team. I am very grateful for this opportunity. We plan to continue to take Werner Enterprises to the next level, building on the rock solid foundation produced over the last 50 years. With the support of our outstanding drivers, owner-operators, non-driver employees, customers, vendors, and shareholders, I am confident that Werner Enterprises is well positioned for future continued success," said Greg Werner.
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