Longtime J.B. Hunt Transport Services executive Craig Harper will retire at the end of the year, wrapping a 31-year tenure in which he shaped the industry-leading carrier as chief safety officer, COO, EVP and chief sustainability officer.
Harper helped establish J.B. Hunt’s Million Mile program, which has given bonuses to more than 4,600 drivers who reached safe-driving milestones. He drove the Lowell, Arkansas-based company to set lofty sustainability standards and a goal to reduce carbon emission intensity 32% by 2034, according to a release.
“On behalf of the over 35,000 employees that work here, on behalf of the board of directors and on behalf of the shareholders of this company, I offer our heartfelt thanks to Craig, and that’s not near enough to convey the value that he’s brought to us all,” CEO John Roberts said in the release.
Harper was COO for 23 years and served as the carrier’s first chief safety officer and its first chief sustainability officer. His fellow executives described him as a “culture builder” and “a legend at J.B. Hunt” in a retirement video.
“He probably influenced my career more than anyone else did for the 10 years that I worked for him,” President Shelley Simpson wrote in a post on LinkedIn.
Greer Woodruff, who worked on the Million Mile program and other initiatives with Harper, will assume the role of EVP of safety, sustainability and maintenance on Jan. 1.
Woodruff has held several roles since joining J.B. Hunt as a trainee in 1987, most recently as SVP of safety, security and driver personnel.
“J.B. Hunt sets the bar today for the industry on so many levels, and Craig has been a big part of that,” Nick Hobbs, COO and president of contract services, said in the release. “He was instrumental in helping create our safety culture and service excellence.”
Hobbs said he is confident Greer will “continue advancing those efforts, delivering value for our customers and shareholders and maintaining our fleet’s commitment to being one of the safest on the road.”