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Trucking woes: YRC Worldwide shuffles top ranks

YRC Worldwide -- the holding company for a portfolio of LTL carrier brands including Yellow and Roadway -- today announced several senior leadership changes

YRC Worldwide -- the holding company for a portfolio of LTL carrier brands including Yellow and Roadway -- today announced several senior leadership changes. As some news report indicate, the company continues to struggle to avoid bankruptcy.

YRC Inc. president & COO Mike Smid will assume responsibility for the operations of all YRC Worldwide regional and national networks. Tim Wicks, executive vp & CFO, will spearhead a “consolidated organization comprised of all strategic and operation finance activities across YRC Worldwide companies,” the company said in a news release.

In addition, John Garcia has joined the company as executive vp & chief sales officer, responsible for sales strategy and results across YRC and its operating companies, and Mike Naatz will assume the duties for YRC Worldwide Information Technology. Naatz is executive vp and chief information & service officer. Chief marketing officer and executive vp Greg Reid will lead a combined marketing effort, including brand and business development initiatives, the company said, while John Carr will take over as president of YRC Logistics.

“Today’s announcement is a significant, strategic step as we take advantage of the full power of YRC Worldwide,” said Bill Zollars, chairman, president & CEO of YRC Worldwide. “A functional organization structure allows us to dedicate an even broader team of seasoned experts to the support of our customers along all lines of our business - clearly a competitive advantage.”

Keith Lovetro, former president, YRC Regional Transportation; Michael Rapken, former executive vp & chief information officer; Jim Ritchie, former president of YRC Logistics; and Christina Wise, former vp & treasurer are no longer with the company, according to YRC Worldwide.

The changes come at a time when YRC is being hard hit by the recession. Several media outlets have reported the company is near bankruptcy, or rapidly approaching it. On May 15, the company announced it had reached agreement with lenders of its credit facilities to eliminate its second earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) covenant. In general, lenders can, although not always, demand payment of loans in full should a company violate a covenant.

At the same time, the Wall Street Journal reported the company has requested $1 billion in federal bailout funds under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Zollars told the Journal the money was needed to cover a $2 billion pension obligation over the next four years.

Shares of YRC Worldwide were trading at $2.85 this morning.

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