J.J. Schickel, CEO of Omni Logistics, is not going to join the combined Forward Air-Omni Logistics, but he will remain as a shareholder.

In an email sent to Forward Air-Omni employees Saturday and confirmed by a spokesman for Forward (NASDAQ: FWRD), Forward chairman and CEO Tom Schmitt said Schickel had “chosen not to continue as an executive at Forward.”

“He remains deeply passionate about the business and will remain close as a shareholder,” Schmitt wrote, signing the memo “your team mate.” “Omni’s leading market position and strong customer relationships are not only a testament to J.J.’s leadership but also the extraordinary talent and dedication of the entire Omni team.”

Schmitt added that “details take time to work through and we don’t have all of them sorted just yet. But we have committed to keeping you informed as we make important decisions about our company’s bright future.”

The company has a town hall scheduled for Monday at noon Central time.

Schickel’s departure comes as something of a surprise as he was expected to stay on in some capacity with the combined Forward Air-Omni. As recently as last week, when the deal closed, Schickel was assumed to be the president of the combined company, with Schmitt staying on as CEO. 

Under the terms of the final deal that ended extensive litigation over the initial Forward Air plan to purchase privately held Omni, the shareholders of Omni will own 35% of Forward. That group of Omni owners includes private equity firms Ridgemont Equity Partners and EVE Partners. The former ownership group of

Omni will also have four board seats.

It was not immediately clear whether Schickel would have one of those seats. 

An email to Schickel had not been responded to by publication time. The spokesman for Forward did not add any details beyond confirmation of the authenticity of the note to employees.

Forward Air’s stock has been pummeled since the acquisition as investors believe their holdings are being excessively diluted. According to data from Barchart, Forward’s stock is down 28.4% in the last month, 35.2% in the last three months and 55.5% in the last year. 

Omni is an asset-light logistics provider with a focus on high-touch, expedited freight transportation. It also is a freight forwarder. 

A quick pop on Jan. 22, when the litigation between the two companies was settled, briefly brought the share price up to $60 per share. But Friday, it closed at $46.55 and was at its 52-week low of $46.19 just one day earlier. 

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The post Omni’s Schickel won’t have executive role at Forward Air appeared first on FreightWaves.

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