FedEx founder Fred Smith will step down as CEO of the package-delivery company that he founded, the company announced on Monday.
Smith will step down in June and will be succeeded by the company’s president and chief operating officer, Raj Subramaniam, FedEx said in a press release. Subramaniam will serve as both CEO and president, while Smith will become executive chairman.
Smith started FedEx in 1971, delivering small parcels and documents more quickly than the post office could. Over the next half-century, he oversaw the growth of a company that combined air and ground service and became something of an economic bellwether because of its service to other companies.
Today, FedEx is worth $60 billion and has 290,000 employees in the U.S., according to data provider FactSet. Smith is its largest shareholder, with a 7% stake worth about $4.3 billion, according to FactSet.
“FedEx has changed the world by connecting people and possibilities for the last 50 years,” Smith said in a statement that also expressed confidence in Subramaniam’s ability to guide the company.
Smith said he will focus on global issues including sustainability, innovation, and public policy.
Subramaniam joined the Memphis, Tennessee-based company in 1991 and served in several marketing and management jobs in Asia and the United States. He rose to become the chief marketing and communications officer, and also served as the top executive of FedEx Express. He joined the FedEx board in 2020 and will remain a director.