ABF president & CEO Kemp to retire

Arkansas Best Corp. announced that Wesley B. Kemp, current president & CEO of its largest subsidiary, ABF Freight System, Inc. (ABF), will retire on Dec. 31, 2011. Roy M. Slagle, ABF’s current senior vice president of sales and marketing,, replace Kemp effective Jan. 1, 2012

Arkansas Best Corp. announced that Wesley B. Kemp, current president & CEO of its largest subsidiary, ABF Freight System, Inc. (ABF), will retire on Dec. 31, 2011. Roy M. Slagle, ABF’s current senior vice president of sales and marketing,, replace Kemp effective Jan. 1, 2012.

Kemp, 65, has served as the president and CEO since January 2010. Throughout his nearly 43-year career with ABF, beginning as a management trainee in 1969, Kemp continually advanced in ABF leadership positions.

“During his ABF career that has spanned more than four decades, Wes Kemp has been an integral part of ABF’s transformation from a small LTL carrier with revenues totaling $45 million and service centers in 12 states to a flexible, innovative, and full-service LTL carrier with $1.7 billion in revenues and 275 service centers across North America,” said Judy R. McReynolds, Arkansas Best president & CEO.

“Wes Kemp is a man of integrity and a true professional. His hard work and dedication to detail have benefited our company during his time here. Wes took over the leadership of ABF in the midst of one of the most severe recessions in our company’s history. His patience and guidance during this very difficult time have enabled ABF to return to profitability,” said McReynolds.

Roy Slagle, 57, has been in his current position since February 2006. He has been with ABF for 35 years, serving in a wide variety of operations, sales and administrative positions.

“As a result of the operational, sales, pricing and administrative experiences that Roy Slagle has had during his ABF career, he possesses a comprehensive skill set that uniquely qualifies him to lead ABF into the future,” said Ms. McReynolds. “Roy’s experience in almost every area of ABF, both in field operations and in our corporate headquarters, gives him a strong foundation from which to draw as CEO of ABF.”

“Roy’s experience and success in guiding ABF’s sales, marketing and pricing efforts during a challenging period in the LTL industry will be important assets as he leads ABF in adjusting to marketplace changes and in being flexible to meet the evolving needs of our customers,” said McReynolds.

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