Daseke Announces CEO Retirement (1/05/21)
Company’s Operational and Financial Performance in Q4 Expected to be In-Line with Estimates
Board of Directors Appoints Jonathan Shepko as Interim CEO
ADDISON, Texas, Jan. 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Daseke, Inc. (NASDAQ: DSKE) (“Daseke” or the “Company”), the largest flatbed, specialized transportation and logistics solutions company in North America, announced today that Christopher Easter has retired as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors, effective December 31, 2020. The Board has engaged a leading executive search firm to assist in the search for Mr. Easter’s successor. Jonathan Shepko, a current Daseke director, has been appointed as Interim CEO until a permanent successor for Mr. Easter is identified and hired.
Mr. Easter stated, “This has been a very difficult decision for me personally, but I have a number of family-related obligations that need my full attention. As a result, I made the decision to retire from Daseke at the end of the year. Over the past two years, I have been fortunate to work alongside some of the most dedicated and talented people in the flatbed and specialized trucking industry and I am very proud of what we have accomplished together. We have successfully executed a dramatic turnaround in our performance while navigating through a global pandemic. Daseke’s strategy is sound, the business is performing well, and the team is poised to continue forward with this momentum. I have an enormous amount of confidence in Daseke’s future.”
On behalf of the Board, Chairman Brian Bonner said, “We are grateful to Chris for his leadership and want to extend our thanks for the many contributions he has made at Daseke. Among other things, Chris helped to reset our operational strategy and built a solid leadership team with decades of transportation experience. The Board is confident in the team’s ability to execute on our current strategy and guide Daseke to a bright future. The Board respects Chris’ decision to retire and we wish him the very best in the future.”
Mr. Shepko said, “I look forward to leading Daseke during this interim period, with a goal of making further progress on our current strategic path and driving continued operational and financial performance. I expect to be fully engaged with the team and leading the organization with assistance from Brian as if my role were permanent; we must continue our transformation. Brian and I have been extensively involved in helping reset the strategy at Daseke and will help ensure continuity of mission and aggressive execution on our key priorities. Daseke is fortunate to have an experienced leadership team and we will leverage their expertise, and the strong bench of talent throughout the organization, as we continue to improve the earnings power of our business, strengthen our balance sheet, and position the business for long-term growth.”
Operational and Financial Performance Update
Daseke also announced today that the business performed well during the fiscal fourth quarter ended December 31, 2020. Based on preliminary results and excluding the positive impact of the wind-down of the Aveda Transportation business, Daseke expects to achieve its internal financial forecasts and expects results to be approximately in-line with analyst consensus for revenue and Adjusted EBITDA, as calculated by FactSet.1
Daseke expects to release earnings and host a conference call at the end of January, at which time the Company will discuss fourth quarter and full-year 2020 results along with the outlook for 2021.
Separately today, Daseke announced that it signed cooperation agreements with Lyons Capital and Don Daseke and made other changes to the Board’s composition. Additional details concerning these developments are available in a separate press release issued this morning and will be included in the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).
About Jonathan Shepko
Mr. Shepko is a Cofounder and Managing Partner of Stonehollow Capital Partners, which makes direct equity investments in private companies across the United States. Prior to founding Stonehollow in January 2019, from 2014 to 2018, Mr. Shepko served as a Managing Partner of EF Capital Management, LP, the investment arm of a substantial single-family office, which largely focused on direct equity and direct debt investments, in both public and private companies, across the United States. During his tenure with EF Capital, Mr. Shepko served in various Board and management capacities of the firm’s portfolio investments. Prior to founding EF Capital, Mr. Shepko was a Managing Director with Ares Management (~$100B AUM), where he focused on originating and structuring debt financings in the energy industry. From 2009 until 2014, Mr. Shepko co-headed, and served as Managing Director of, CLG Energy Finance (an affiliate of Beal Bank), which focused on providing senior-stretch and uni-tranche facilities to the energy and infrastructure industries. Prior to forming CLG Energy Finance, Mr. Shepko was a Vice President with EnCap Investments, LP, where his responsibilities included originating, structuring and managing private equity investments in the oil and gas sector, while also serving on the boards of several of these companies. Mr. Shepko was appointed to the Board effective as of February 2017. Mr. Shepko graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Finance from Texas A&M University.
About Daseke, Inc.
Daseke, Inc. is the largest flatbed and specialized transportation and logistics company in North America. Daseke offers comprehensive, best-in-class services to many of the world’s most respected industrial shippers through experienced people, a fleet of more than 5,000 tractors and 11,500 flatbed and specialized trailers. For more information, please visit www.daseke.com. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2021/01/05/2153422/0/en/Daseke-Announces-CEO-Retirement.html