John Pattullo will retire as chief executive officer of CEVA Logistics, effective Oct. 12, the company announced Tuesday.
Chairman Marvin Schlanger will step into the CEO's job and Pattullo will continue to serve on the board of the company, which is owned by Apollo Global Management.
Pattullo took the reins at CEVA five years ago following Apollo's buyout of the former Eagle Global Logistics, which was combined with its previous acquisition of TNT Logistics to form CEVA. Pattullo joined CEVA from DHL where he led the contract logistics business in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
During his leadership, the company has cemented itself as the sixth largest outsourced logistics provider in the world, based on gross revenue. CEVA is the 10th largest ocean forwarder by some estimates and its recent deal to manage ocean freight for Heinz Co. could soon take it to seventh or eighth in the ocean rankings.
Last year the company had gross revenues of $9.6 billion.
The company is rapidly growing business in China, with almost 1 billion euros worth of revenue there.
But the sluggish global economy and its high debt load from the Apollo acquisitions has kept a damper on profits. CEVA reported an $88.5 million loss in the second quarter, which it attributed to weak trans-Pacific volume and the recession in Southern Europe.
“When John came to CEVA, he expressed his expectation of staying with the company for five years,” Schlanger said in a statement. “Under his leadership, the integration of TNT Logistics and EGL was successfully executed and the company's unique customer-focused, end to end operating model successfully developed. He has also assembled a world class leadership team. All of this has allowed CEVA to serve our customers better and to grow faster than the market."
CEVA has lost several executives in the past couple of years, including Joe Bento, executive vice president of business development for the Americas region, who left to become the chief sales officer for North America at SEKO Logistics.
Bento was recently replaced by Cynthia Cochovity, a veteran CEVA employee.
In an interview outside the Council of Supply Chain Management Professional's conference in Atlanta last week, Pattullo said the attrition of senior leadership at CEVA is about 5 percent per year, which he suggested is at the low end of industry norms, save for a small spike in 2010. He gave no indication of his own pending departure at the time. - Eric Kulisch