J.B. Hunt's president Shelley Simpson appointed chief executive officer

Updated Mar 12, 2024
Shelley Simpson

Another major U.S. trucking company is making a leadership change.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. announced today the appointment of Shelley Simpson as chief executive officer and president of the company, along with her nomination for election to the company’s Board of Directors. Simpson has served as the company’s president since Aug. 1, 2022.

The company also announced that Kirk Thompson, currently executive chairman of the board, along with Wayne Garrison, will both retire from the company’s Board of Directors and will take newly formed board advisory roles as honorary founding directors. 

John N. Roberts, III, outgoing chief executive officer, will assume the role of executive chairman of the board upon Kirk Thompson’s retirement from the board. The changes are part of the company’s succession planning and board development to support future growth and shareholder confidence. 

Earlier this week, Knight-Swift announced Adam Miller has been promoted to chief executive officer and Andrew Hess has been promoted to chief financial officer. The appointments came after Dave Jackson stepped down as chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors following nine years as CEO and 13 years as president.

“I am so happy to know Kirk and Wayne will remain involved as advisors beyond their service as directors, and I am excited to congratulate John and Shelley on their new leadership roles,” said Johnelle Hunt, co-founder of J.B. Hunt. “I care deeply about the long-term success of the company, and these changes give me great confidence in the company’s ability to continue to prosper well into the future.”

J.B. Hunt's Board of Directors appointed Simpson, 52, as company chief executive officer and president, effective July 1, and nominated her for election to the board at the company’s upcoming annual shareholders’ meeting in April. The board also approved the retirements of Thompson and Garrison at the end of their current terms and approved their appointment as non-voting Honorary Founding Directors.

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Simpson’s career at J.B. Hunt spans nearly 30 years, where she served in a wide range of executive leadership roles.. In 2007, Simpson helped found Integrated Capacity Solutions and was named president of the business unit. She assumed sales and marketing executive responsibilities in 2011 as chief marketing officer and took on additional leadership roles in 2014 when she was named president of J.B. Hunt’s Truckload business segment. She was named chief commercial officer and president of Highway Services in 2017 and led the strategic direction and launch of the J.B. Hunt 360° platform. In 2020, Simpson added responsibilities for people and human resources and was named president in 2022.

“J.B. Hunt is recognized as a leader in the transportation industry. We’re known for our highly talented and experienced people, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to work alongside the very best,” said Simpson. “Kirk, Wayne, and John are not only great leaders, but they understand the importance of building great leaders, and how that creates stability, opportunities for growth, and ultimately drives long-term success for a company. They’ve grown a culture of integrity and respect, of innovation, safety, and excellence, and I am profoundly grateful for the impact they’ve had and will continue to have on the company.”