PAM hires Knight-Swift exec Vitiritto as CEO, president

PAM Transport has reached into the Knight-Swift management team to find its new president and CEO.

Joe Vitiritto was a senior vice president at Knight-Swift, having come out of the Knight side of the 2017 merger. He will become president and CEO at Arkansas-based PAM on Aug. 18, though he will not become chairman. Matthew Moroun, son of Manuel Moroun who controlled PAM until his recent death, will remain as the company’s chairman of the board.

Moroun had been interim CEO since the May 1 retirement of Daniel H. Cushman. Although not serving as chairman, Vitiritto will be a member of the board of directors.

Vitiritto’s final position with Knight-Swift was as senior vice president of Pricing and Network Design. He is a graduate of Iowa State University.

Vitiritto’s role in the merger between Knight and Swift was cited as a key reason for his hiring. “Joe also recently played an integral role in one of the largest truckload carrier mergers in recent history, and as P.A.M. continues to explore acquisition opportunities, Joe’s experience in this area will be invaluable,” Moroun said in the prepared statement announcing the move.  

“I am very excited to be joining the P.A.M. Transport family,” Vitiritto said in the announcement of his hiring. “I believe P.A.M. has a solid foundation and a talented team that is well positioned to improve and deliver strong results and growth for our shareholders, customers and employees.”

In heading up PAM, Vitiritto is joining a truckload carrier that has underperformed many of its peers on Wall Street. For example, at a closing stock price Friday of $31.97, PAM stock is down a bit more than 38% in the past 52 weeks, according to Barchart. Meanwhile, two other relatively small publicly traded truckload carriers are solidly positive during that time period: USX, which after a recent run is up 112% for the 52 weeks, and Covenant, up roughly 17% during that time. A larger truckload carrier, Werner Enterprises, is up 34.4%. 

Gains in equity prices in the truckload sector over the 52 weeks are far more prevalent in the truckload industry than carriers that have declined. 

PAM’s market capitalization is $178.3 million. In the company’s most recent quarterly earnings, it reported a decline in revenue excluding fuel to $85.7 million from $112.3 million, and a drop in net income to a loss of $823,000 from net income of $8.654 million in the second quarter of 2019.

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