Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (ATSG) announced this week Chief Executive Joe Hete will retire from his post at the aircraft leasing and air transport services company, effective at ATSG’s next annual meeting of shareholders on May 7.

Hete, 65, is expected to remain a member of the ATSG Board of Directors and to be elected chairman of the board upon his retirement. Current Chairman Randy Rademacher is to become the board’s independent lead director.

Rich Corrado, 60, who was elected president of ATSG effective Sept. 16, 2019, will become president and CEO, and will be nominated for election to the ATSG Board of Directors.

Hete has served as president, CEO, and as a director of ATSG since 2003; for 20 years prior to that he served in management at ABX Air Inc., including as president.

In the press release issued by ATSG, Hete said he will be leaving ATSG’s management team, businesses and shareholders in a strong position. During the 10 years ended last Dec. 31, 2019, ATSG’s common share price increased more than four times as much as the benchmark Dow Industrials, S&P 500 and Russell 2000 indexes in the same period.

“[Hete] has led ATSG through an incredible transformation from a one-customer, express-package airline into the world’s largest source of dedicated midsize freighter aircraft and related services, now including dedicated midsize passenger aircraft services as well,” Rademacher said. “He is known throughout the air cargo industry as a pioneer who saw the potential of leasing midsize converted freighters to give integrated carriers more fleet flexibility, and give others a means to build air-cargo networks without a substantial capital commitment. He also built a solid leadership team and we are confident in their abilities to build on Joe’s legacy.”

As of yearend 2019, ATSG had sixty-one 767Fs on lease from its portfolio, a figure that will continue to grow in the next two years as its subsidiary, U.S.-based lessor Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM) converts and takes redelivery of 767Fs.

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