Forward Air CEO Tom Schmitt leaves

  • After about five and a half years in the position
  • Thanks for Schmitt
  • Michael Hance taking over temporarily
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Greeneville, Tennessee, February 7, 2024 — Tom Schmitt, chief executive of Forward Air, leaves his position. As announced by Forward Air Corp. in a news release on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, Thomas (Tom) Schmitt leaves his post as chief executive officer at the provider of transportation services, after about five and a half years in the role, effective immediately.

Generally speaking, it raises questions when a CEO leaves his post abruptly.

Forward Air will undertake a search for a successor.

Tom Schmitt’s duties as CEO will be taken over temporarily by Michael L. Hance, most recently Chief Legal Officer and Secretary at Forward Air Corp., as Interim Chief Executive Officer.

“The Board determined that now is the right time”

The management change is explained as follows. George Mayes, who has served on the Board since 2021, and who has been appointed Independent Chairman, stated: “After careful consideration, the Board determined that now is the right time to initiate a search for our next CEO to lead Forward during the next phase of our growth and evolution.”

Precise information regarding Tom Schmitt’s future plans was not immediately available.


Forward Air said: “Tom Schmitt, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Forward, has departed the Company.”

Share price decline since February 2023

The announcement follows a decline in Forward Air Corp.’s share price of 61% since February 2023.

In the position of CEO since 2018

Tom Schmitt became CEO of the Company in 2018.

Schmitt is no longer a member of the Board.

Schmitt lead Forward Air Corporation, serving as President, CEO and Director since September 2018 and Chairman since May 2019.

Prior to joining Forward Air, Schmitt served as Management Board Member and Chief Commercial Officer for DB Schenker, a $20 billion global logistics company, from June 2015 to July 2018.

Schmitt has extensive experience in global logistics and executive management for public and private companies.

He was President, CEO and Director of Aqua Terra, Canada’s leading provider of natural spring water, from January 2013 to April 2015 and President, CEO and Director of Purolator, Canada’s top parcel and freight transportation company, from 2010 to 2012.

Prior to joining Purolator, Schmitt spent 12 years at FedEx in Memphis, TN, where he served as CEO of FedEx Supply Chain and Senior Vice President of FedEx Solutions.

He also held senior roles at McKinsey & Company prior to his time at FedEx.

Schmitt has been a Non-Executive Director of the Ferguson plc board since February 2019 and also served on the board of directors of Zooplus AG from June 2013 to May 2016.

He also is a published author.

Together with Arnold Perl, Schmitt wrote “Simple Solutions,” a leadership book published by Wiley & Sons.

Schmitt holds an MBA as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School and received his bachelor’s degree in European Business Administration from Middlesex University in London.

No statement by Tom Schmitt

In the release announcing his departure as CEO of Forward Air Corp., Tom Schmitt received thanks.

The announcement of his departure as CEO does not include a statement by Tom Schmitt.

Push-out Score for Tom Schmitt’s move determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding Tom Schmitt’s move on a scale of 0 to 10.

Read the full story in the exechange report 7.2024 ($).