NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Waste Management Inc., the country's largest trash hauler, named transportation industry veteran A. Maurice Myers as its new chairman and chief executive officer Tuesday.
Myers, 59, comes from the helm of Yellow Corp. (YELL), the nation's largest publicly traded trucking company, where he was known for shuttering unprofitable operations and streamlining the company, particularly its Yellow Freight Systems unit.
The CEO appointment will be the sixth in the past three years for Waste Management, which has borne the brunt of accounting-related scandals and accusations of insider trading among its senior management. The Houston-based company most recently warned of a "materially unfavorable" third-quarter and full-year charge of a reported $1 billion.
Waste Management merged with USA Waste Services Inc. in July 1998. In August of this year, the company fired then-President Rodney Proto, who allegedly sold shares before a profit warning, and named turnaround specialist Robert Miller as interim chief executive. John Drury, Waste Management's long-standing CEO, resigned earlier this year due to health problems.
Now Myers takes the top seat. Before Yellow, Myers was president and chief operating officer at America West Airlines, chief executive of Aloha Air Group Inc. and a marketing and finance executive at Continental Airlines. He began his career at Ford Motor Co.
Yellow is in the labor-intensive segment of trucking known as less-than-truckload, in which shipments from many customers are consolidated through a series of terminals. Under Myers, the company has sold a major unprofitable unionized operation, Preston Trucking Co., which closed earlier this year after it was spun-off to management of the division in 1998. It also bought some non-union carriers. But the primary subsidiary, Yellow Freight System, is unionized, and has continued to operate with very narrow profit margins.
In December 1998, Myers negotiated a possible purchase of another major carrier, Consolidated Freightways Corp., but that deal was abandoned just before Christmas.
Waste Management (WMI) shares ended the day Monday up 5/16 at 18-3/8. Yellow shares closed down 5/16 at 16-13/16.
-- from staff and wire reports