Photo: Daseke
Chris Easter At Daseke Board Meeting February 2019

Daseke CEO retires; interim successor named

Jan. 7, 2021
The company expects to release earnings and host a conference call at the end of January, at which time it will discuss fourth quarter and full-year 2020 results along with the outlook for 2021.

Daseke Inc. revealed on Jan. 5 that Christopher Easter retired as CEO and as a member of the board of directors, effective Dec. 31, 2020. The board has appointed Jonathan Shepko, a current Daseke director, as interim CEO until a permanent successor for Easter is identified and hired.

“This has been a very difficult decision for me personally, but I have a number of family-related obligations that need my full attention,” Easter said in a statement. “As a result, I made the decision to retire from Daseke. Over the past two years, I have been fortunate to work alongside some of the most dedicated and talented people in the flatbed and specialized trucking industry and I am very proud of what we have accomplished together. We have successfully executed a dramatic turnaround in our performance while navigating through a global pandemic. Daseke’s strategy is sound, the business is performing well, and the team is poised to continue forward with this momentum. I have an enormous amount of confidence in Daseke’s future.”

In the same announcement, the company revealed that the business performed well during the fiscal fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2020. Based on preliminary results and excluding the positive impact of the wind-down of the Aveda Transportation business, Daseke expects to release earnings and host a conference call at the end of January, at which time the company will discuss fourth quarter and full-year 2020 results along with the outlook for 2021.

“I look forward to leading Daseke during this interim period, with a goal of making further progress on our current strategic path and driving continued operational and financial performance,” said Shepko. “I expect to be fully engaged with the team and leading the organization with assistance from Brian as if my role were permanent; we must continue our transformation.”

Shepko is co-founder and managing partner of Stonehollow Capital Partners, which makes direct equity investments in private companies across the United States. Prior to founding Stonehollow in January 2019, Shepko served as a managing partner of EF Capital Management, the investment arm of a substantial single-family office, which largely focused on direct equity and direct debt investments, in both public and private companies, across the U.S. from 2014 to 2018.

“Chairman Brian Bonner and I have been extensively involved in helping reset the strategy at Daseke and will help ensure continuity of mission and aggressive execution on our key priorities,” added Shepko. “Daseke is fortunate to have an experienced leadership team and we will leverage their expertise, and the strong bench of talent throughout the organization, as we continue to improve the earnings power of our business, strengthen our balance sheet, and position the business for long-term growth.”

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