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Skinner hoping to build on USF's momentum in following 'legend' Carruth at regional giant
When Samuel K. Skinner was a federal prosecutor in Chicago, he had the nickname "Sam the Hammer" for his tough pursuit of criminals. When he was President Bush's point man for such affairs as the Exxon Valdez oil spill and Hurricane Hugo, the transportation secretary was known as the "Master of Disaster."
Now as he prepares to follow Cam Carruth as president and CEO of USFreightways, Rosemont, Ill., a group of five regional LTL carriers and other transport and logistics concerns, he's hoping to earn the nickname "Skinner the Winner." By his own admission, Skinner might not have to do much more than follow the path Carruth already has laid for him.
Asked why he took this job from cochairman of a prestigious Chicago law firm, the former White House chief of staff replied: "Number one, it's a great company. Cam is a legend in the industry. The foundation is strong, growing at 20 percent in both revenue and incomes. It's one of the dominant players in the industry. We are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the changing business-to-consumer and business-to-business environment. Plus, it's a chance to do your own thing."
Skinner likes that. In his first professional job, working as a salesman for IBM in the 1960s, he was named IBM salesman of the year in 1966. After a career in law and as a prosecutor, he ran the Chicago transit system for a time. Skinner, 61, served three years as President Bush's transportation secretary. He developed the nation's most recent National Transportation Policy. He …