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J.B. Hunt's Thompson Stepping Down from President/CEO Role

Kirk Thompson

J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Lowell, Ark., announced that Kirk Thompson plans to step down from his role as J.B. Hunt Transport Services’ president and CEO on Dec. 31.

He was elected to the position of Chairman of the Board effective January 1, 2011, replacing Wayne Garrison who will remain a director. Thompson, who has worked with the board on this transition for several years, has been with the company for 37 years and has served as CEO since 1987.

His replacement will be John N. Roberts, III, 46. He has been with the company for 21 years and currently serves as president of Dedicated Contract Services. Roberts has led DCS from revenue of $150 million in 1997 to an enterprise that will soon surpass $1 billion in revenues as a separate business segment.

Thompson oversaw J.B. Hunt’s growth from revenue of $286 million in 1987 to a projected $3.8 billion in 2010. Over his tenure, the company successfully transitioned from a truckload carrier to a multi-faceted transportation services company, including pioneering a move into intermodal transportation. The company’s market capitalization has grown from $500 million to over $4.4 billion during the same time frame.

“With the company’s strategic positioning well established and operational execution at such a high level, this is the right time for me to step back from the day-to-day operations,” Thompson said.

“John and I have worked together closely for the last 13 years after he was drafted to lead DCS in a ‘battlefield promotion,'” Thompson said of his successor. “His response to that challenge and the challenges of growing a start-up business to almost $1 billion has been nothing short of outstanding. The board and I are confident he will do a similarly outstanding job as the fourth CEO in J.B. Hunt Transport Services’ history.”

Nick Hobbs has been promoted to president of DCS. Hobbs has been with the company for over 26 years serving in many capacities during that time. His most recent responsibilities were as senior vice president of operations for DCS, a role he has held for 12 years.

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