Top 10 supply chain CEOs
by Joseph Wilkes
10. Xavier Urbain, CEVA Logistics
The newest CEO in our list, Urbain was named CEO of CEVA in January 2014. He held several senior positions as Kuehne + Nagel and was CEO of ACR Logistics and Hays Logistics. He started his career with Deloitte & Touche as an external auditor. He holds a PhD in economics and a degree in advanced accounting studies.
9. Jens Bjørn Andersen, DSV
Andersen became CEO of DSV Road Holding in 2007 and Group CEO in 2008. He began with the former Samson Transport Co in 1988, holding various positions. Following DSV's 1997 acquisition of Samson, he became CEO of DSV Samson Transport. From 2001, he was CEO of Tollpost Globe AS in Oslo and was headhunted for the CEO job at DFDS Transport Ltd./DSV Road Ltd. in England in 2003.
8. John Wiehoff, CH Robinson Worldwide
An employee at CH Robinson since 1992, he has been CEO since 2002. He won a role in public accounting with Arthur Anderson LLP as a graduate, with CH Robinson being one of his clients. He joined the company eight years later as a controller in the finance department. He became Chief Financial Officer in 1998.
7. Kenji Watanabe, Nippon Express
Watanabe serves the Chief Executive Officer and President of Tokyo, Japan-bases Nippon Express Co Ltd. He has been in this position since June 2011, having joined the company in April 1972and has held a wide number of positions. He obtained his Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree from Chuo University in March 1972.
6. Dr Detlef Trefzger, Kuehne + Nagel
Prior to joining Kuehne + Nagel in 2013, Trefzger was on the Executive Board of Schenker & Co AG, 2004 – October 2012. In 1994 he was Principal at Roland Berger and Chief Financial Officer of Schenker in 1999. He was Executive Vice President Contract Logistics of Kuehne + Nagel Group, March 2013 – August 2013, when he became Group CEO and responsible for Contract Logistics.
5. Dr Rüdiger Grube, Deutsche Bahn AG
Grube is, apparently, also the Vice President of the Hyundai Motor Company, a director at Mitsubishi and at McLaren Group and also non-executive director for The Airbus Group. Since 2009, he has been Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of the Federal Republic of Germany-owned railway company, the parent of DB Schenker. It was struggling and Grube had to begin by making tough decisions regarding cuts.
4. Frederick W. Smith, FedEx
Modern-day legend and proof of the American dream, Smith is the founder of one of the biggest companies in the world. Now a $45 billion interest, the idea for it began during Smith’s three-year stint, 1966-69, as a US Marine, where he observed closely the logistics and procurement of the armed forces and was inspired to start up an overnight delivery service for civilians. He founded Federal Express with his $4 million inheritance (modern equivalent $23 million) and raised $91 million ($525 million) in venture capital in 1970.
3. Dr Frank Appel, Deutsche Post AG (DHL)
Appel has been CEO 2008 and will be until 2017. He has a PhD in Neurobiology from ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He was a Consultant and Project Manager at McKinsey & Co in Germany since 1993 and was then elected to Partner of Member of German Business Management in 1999. In 2000 he joined Deutsche Post as Managing Director Corporate Development.
2. D. Scott Davis, UPS
Also Chairman, Scott has brought about significant improvements in UPS’ logistics network as it expanded its reach and capabilities since 2008. He joined in 1986 when UPS acquired Oregon aviation technology company, II Morrow, of which he was CEO. He completed a term as chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in 2009 and is on the Board of Honeywell International, Inc.
1. Nils S Andersen, Maersk
From Denmark, Andersen trained as an economist and joined AP Moller Maersk in 2007 as CEO after a career as a controller with Nordic Sugar and the Carlsberg brewery group through the 1980s and 90s.
At Carlsberg he Executive Vice President and then CEO of breweries in Spain and Germany.
He spent two years on the executive board of HERO consumer foods in Switzerland, before returning to Carlsberg in 1999 to lead a number of acquisitions, market entries and group-wide initiatives.
His work is said to have turned around the financial performance of the Carlsberg group and strengthened its global position.
At Maersk, he fronted a transformation process which led to a more focused portfolio, a leaner organisation and increased competitiveness. The group’s transparency and communication with stakeholders also increased.
From 2011 Andersen has been heading a new long-term strategy with focus on four core growth businesses within shipping and oil & gas, Maersk Line, Maersk Oil, APM Terminals and Maersk Drilling.