Joseph “Joe” Dagnese is leaving his position at Con-way Truckload to become the president at Con-way Freight, succeeding W. Gregory Lehmkuhl, who resigned as president of LTL carrier Con-way Freight to pursue an opportunity as chief executive officer of a private equity-owned company.
That move will also leave the chief executive slot at Con-way Truckload vacant for now, Con-way noted in a statement – a move dubbed a “head scratcher” by David Ross, managing director of the transportation and logistics research group at Wall Street investment Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.
“We don't understand why the company would just quickly shift the head of its truckload division [Dagnese] to the lead role at Con-way Freight, leaving a void at [Con-way] Truckload,” Ross said in a research update.
“Instead, we believe it would have been simpler to leave Dagnese running [Con-way] Truckload – assuming his performance was satisfactory or better – and have [Con-way Inc.] CEO Doug Stotlar become interim president at Freight since he grew up inside that organization, and then conduct a proper search for a new Con-way Freight president,” he added.
Dagnese began his career at Con-way in 1995, when he joined Menlo Logistics – Con-way's global logistics and supply chain management unit – following a 14 year stint with Proctor & Gamble.
Prior to becoming the president at Con-way Truckload, he served as VP of Menlo's International operations, with stints handling Menlo's automotive, government services, consumer, retail and industrial groups.
Still, Stifel’s Ross is concerned that moving Dagnese over to head up Con-way Freight “was a rushed decision and not well thought out” as he does not have LTL operating experience.
“However, we are maintaining our ‘Buy’ rating on shares of Con-way, because even with the management change, it is a relatively cheap way to play a still-positive LTL environment, and we hope Dagnese exceeds our expectations,” he added.