Indian-born Raj Subramaniam named CEO of US delivery company FedEx
Fred Smith foundedin 1971, and changed the landscape of how America and the world delivered packages to each other. After 50 years in charge, he is stepping aside and has named Indian-born Raj Subramaniam as his successor as CEO.
Subramaniam has been President and COO of FedEx Corp for the past three years, and has been a loyal employee at FedEx for 31 years. His first senior role was Vice President of Marketing for Southeast Asia in 1996, but by 2003 he had moved to a leadership role in Canada and within the main US corporation by 2006.
"As we look toward what's next, I have a great sense of satisfaction that a leader of the calibre of Raj Subramaniam will take FedEx into a very successful future," said Fred Smith.
"Fred is a visionary leader and a legend of the business world. He founded one of the world's greatest and most admired companies, and it is my honour and privilege to step into this role and build upon what he has created," Subramaniam said.
Subramaniam is from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, and is an alumnus of IIT-Bombay. He moved to America in 1987 to pursue a master's in chemical engineering, but soon pivoted to business with a second master's in business administration.
The praises have been coming in since the announcement was made. Former Kerala MP Shashi Tharoor congratulated Subramaniam by saying, "always thrilled when a Thiruvananthapuram native triumphs!"
Sanjay Poonen, fellow Kerala-American who is an investor in America and was President at SAP, said "Congrats Raj!!! Super proud of you at the helm of an iconic company!"
In recent years, it has become increasing common for Indian-born American immigrants to be named to senior leadership positions at large American companies. Among the higher profile examples include Sundar Pichai who was named CEO of Alphabet, Google's parent company, in 2019, and Satya Nadella who became Microsoft CEO IN 2014.
Both Pichai and Nadella took over from founding CEOs at their respective companies, much like Raj Subramaniam at FedEx.