In her first 10 months as UPS Inc.’s (NYSE:UPS) CEO, Carol Tomé has shaken the Big Brown oak with a ferocity unprecedented in the company’s history. Her moves have been wide-ranging, quick-hitting and counter to the “all-deliberate-speed” and paternalistic mentality that characterized UPS’ culture for nearly 114 years.
The early results of Tomè’s stress test have been positive. UPS has reported two blowout quarters since she took over June 1. UPS’ share price, which has been a major disappointment for much of its 21-plus years as a public company, rose from $91 in March 2020 to $168 a year later and today sits just under $160. UPS acquitted itself well during the record 2020 peak-season delivery cycle, hitting 97.6% on-time performance levels, according to consultancy ShipMatrix.
It should be pointed out that UPS and other parcel-delivery providers had massive business tailwinds during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its favorable impact on e-commerce activity. UPS imposed meaningful peak-season delivery surcharges that boosted its numbers The carrier also curbed a lot of peak volume from enterprise customers, actions that helped avoid overtaxing its infrastructure but angered big shippers that have been longtime customers.
Tomé, 64, is a disciple of the financial world, having retired in 2019 as CFO of home improvement giant The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE:HD). Her objective at UPS is to improve financial metrics that she has said…