Fred Boehler’s tenure at Americold Realty Trust culminated in a compelling corporate saga. His decision to step down, the company’s performance in the market, and the subsequent developments make for an intriguing case study.
Let’s delve into the details.
Fred Boehler Americold: The Early Years
Fred Boehler joined Americold Realty Trust, the world’s largest publicly traded owner, operator, and developer of temperature-controlled warehouses, seven years ago. His appointment as president and CEO marked the beginning of a transformative journey for the company, which is headquartered in Atlanta.
Over time, Boehler’s leadership steered the company towards greater heights, contributing to its status as a leading real estate investment trust (REIT). However, after nearly six years at the helm, Boehler parted ways with Americold. The circumstances surrounding his departure were intriguing, to say the least.
Fred Boehler Americold: The Unforeseen Twist
In an unexpected turn of events, the board of trustees of Americold Realty Trust terminated Boehler without cause, effective immediately. He also resigned from his position as a trustee.
To fill the leadership void, George Chappelle, a seasoned food industry professional, was appointed interim CEO. Rob Bass and Pamela Kohn, high-ranking executives from Best Buy Co. and Sally Beauty Holdings Inc., respectively, joined the REIT’s expanded board of trustees.
Americold did not elaborate on the reasons behind Boehler’s departure, only stating that it was not due to any disputes with the board or management on matters of corporate strategy, financial or accounting issues.
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The news of Boehler’s departure did not seem to significantly impact the market’s perception of Americold. In fact, the company’s shares experienced a 2.2% increase in after-hours trading, reaching $30.99 per share.
Americold’s third-quarter results presented a mixed picture. Adjusted funds from operations, a crucial metric of a REIT’s performance, matched internal projections at 27 cents per share but fell a penny below the consensus of nine analysts polled on Barchart. The company’s net income of $5.3 million marked a decline of more than $7 million from the same period in the previous year.
Revenue Growth Amid Challenges
Despite these setbacks, Americold witnessed a significant 42.5% increase in third-quarter revenue, amounting to $708.8 million. The company’s global warehouse segment’s revenue saw a nearly 40% rise, reaching $542 million.
However, the company grappled with rapidly escalating labour and power costs, which together constitute three-quarters of its total costs. The supply chain disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic further compounded these issues. Nonetheless, Americold continues to operate 248 warehouses across four continents, demonstrating its resilience in the face of adversity.
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Following Boehler’s exit, Americold’s third-quarter results announcement, typically a routine affair, became noteworthy due to the absence of a Q&A session with analysts. The management refrained from providing an explanation for Boehler’s sudden departure, reiterating that it had nothing to do with disagreements over corporate strategy or financial matters.
Americold’s performance in the final quarter of Boehler’s tenure was not particularly impressive. Although the revenue climbed 42.5% to $709m, net income dropped $7m to $5.3m.
Handling Rising Costs and Market Challenges
Americold has been grappling with rising costs, primarily labour. To maintain warehouse staffing numbers, the company increased wages between 8% and 12%, and even over 20% in certain markets.
Geographic spikes in power costs, particularly in specific parts of Europe and the US, were also a concern. Labor and power combined account for 70% to 75% of Americold’s total cost structure.
To counter these rising costs, Americold initiated conversations with customers about rate hikes. By the end of the first quarter of 2022, the company expects to have significantly re-rated its warehouse business.
Fred Boehler’s Post-Americold Endeavors
Despite his unexpected departure from Americold, Fred Boehler didn’t remain idle for long. He was soon appointed to the board of directors of PLS Logistics Services, a leading, technology-driven, third-party logistics services provider.
Boehler’s 30 years of supply chain management experience, including his eight-year stint at Americold Logistics, is expected to greatly benefit PLS Logistics. His deep understanding of cold supply chains and their unique logistics challenges will be a valuable resource for the company as it continues to expand in the cold supply chain sector.
Fred Boehler’s Net Worth and Financial Holdings
As of August 1, 2023, Fred W Boehler has an estimated net worth of at least $10 million. He owns about 308,271 shares of Americold Realty Trust Inc (COLD) stock, worth over $10 million. As the reporting owner, Boehler owns two companies in total, including Americold Realty Trust Inc (COLD), and SUPERVALU Inc (SVU).
The most recent trade in Americold Realty Trust Inc recorded in SEC Form 4 filings was the sale of 191,097 shares in February 2021, which earned Boehler around $7 million.
Fred Boehler’s tenure at Americold was marked by growth, challenges, and an unexpected departure. Despite this, he has continued to make strides in his career, leveraging his expertise in the cold supply chain sector.
Americold, too, has weathered the storm of leadership changes and market challenges, showcasing resilience and adaptability. The company’s journey under Boehler and its performance post his departure offer valuable insights into the dynamics of corporate leadership and market performance.