FedEx announced that CFO Alan Graf will retire at the end of the year and be replaced by treasurer Mike Lenz as the company continues its effort to adapt to the rise of e-commerce.

Lenz will move into his new role on Sept. 22, with Graf staying on until Dec. 31 as senior adviser to ensure a smooth transition.

Graf, 66, joined FedEx in 1980 and has served as CFO since 1998.

Alan Graf

“In his 40 years at FedEx, Alan has helped build and transform this company,” CEO Frederick Smith said in a news release. “He has been part of every significant decision and helped navigate tremendous growth, strategic investments, international acquisitions and global challenges.”

“FedEx would not be the $69 billion globally admired corporation we are today without his leadership,” he added.

But as The Motley Fool reports, the company has been going through “a difficult period,” with shares down more than 40% over the past three years due to increased competition from one-time customer Amazon, as well as the impact of trade wars, tariffs, and, more recently, the coronavirus.

FedEx has responded to increased e-commerce deliveries by expanding its Ground network and switching to a full seven-day delivery service. It also acquired Dutch delivery company TNT Express for $4.8 billion to boost its international presence and cut network costs.

Lenz likely will have to help manage the long-delayed integration of TNT Express and navigate a balance sheet that has become more debt-heavy in recent years, David Vernon, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., told The Wall Street Journal.

Graf dealt with similar challenges, but supply-chain disruptions from the coronavirus epidemic and trade disputes could amplify the company’s issues, he said, adding, “It’s a tall order for anyone, frankly, because there’s so much stuff going on with the company.”

Lenz joined FedEx in 2005 as vice president of finance at FedEx Office and was promoted to his current role in 2012. “Mike’s extensive experience in our industry and his financial background have proven him to be an asset to FedEx,” Smith said.

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