Summarized by Kent Larsen
LDS CEO Tony Burns to Retire November 1
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- LDS Stake President M. Anthony Burns, CEO of Ryder
Systems, shocked his company last Thursday when he announced that he will
retire from the CEO position November 1st. He will remain Chairman of Ryder
Systems Board of Directors. The 57-year-old Burns, Ryder's third CEO,
changed Ryder during his 17-year tenure from a truck rental company into a
provider of sophisticated logistics and transportation solutions.
Burns built Ryder so that it now earns more than $5 billion a year in
revenue, while in the process garnering praise from both its customers and
its employees. But for investors, the company has had a troubled history.
Soon after Burns became CEO, he sold off the company's slow-growing and low
margin businesses like truck rentals, airplane maintenance and school bus
services. He then sold a secondary offering of Ryder stock to the public in
October 1986 at $30 a share and continued making moves to improve the
company's bottom line.
But in spite of his efforts and the relatively hot stock market, Ryder's
stock price has languished, closing Friday at $17.38 a share. Now analysts
and investors are looking for a buyout, with General Electric, Penske and
United Parcel Service seen as potential suitors. Neither Burns, nor his
successor, current Ryder President Gregory Swienton, would comment on the
possibility of a sale, but neither would they deny the possibility.
In addition to working 50 to 60 hours a week, Burns spends 20 hours a week
as President of the LDS Church's Homestead Stake. He is also active in the
community, raising millions for a proposed performing arts center in Miami
and serving on the Boards of the Boy Scouts of America and of the
University of Miami. He also has made Ryder a responsible corporate citizen;
after he became CEO, Ryder started a charitable giving program, setting
aside 3/4 of 1% of pretax earnings. That giving has led to, among other
things, $9 million toward a new arena on the University of Miami campus,
which will be called the Ryder Center.
Changing of the guard
Miami Herald 16Oct00 B2
By James McNair