Forward Air Cuts Reported 150 Jobs After Controversial Omni Merger

Freight carrier Forward Air cuts 150 employees across sales, tech and C-suite after debt-laden Omni Logistics acquisition.

Forward Air Cuts Reported 150 Jobs After Controversial Omni Merger

The post-merger pain continues at Forward Air. The freight carrier has laid off around 150 employees—from the frontlines to the C-suite—as it scrambles to integrate newly acquired Omni Logistics.

The Layoff Breakdown

  • Sales and tech roles hit hardest, multiple sources say
  • Cuts span clerks to executives per insiders
  • No official total yet, but around 150 positions impacted

"We've made the difficult decision to restructure and reduce our workforce as we work to improve performance." - Forward Air spokesperson.

A Controversial Acquisition

Forward-Omni Merger Reaches Conclusion
After legal disputes, Forward Air closes the Omni Logistics acquisition for $2.1B. Details on the revised deal and shareholder impact.
  • Forward doubled down, buying rival Omni Logistics in $2.1B deal
  • Promised to bolster expedited LTL services, but drew investor ire
  • Omni's $1.4B debt load sparked balance sheet concerns
  • Customers worried about Forward favoring Omni on routing

The Turmoil Since

  • Founder/ex-CEO Tom Schmitt exited 2 weeks after close
  • New CEO Shawn Stewart hired, along with restructuring CFO
  • Activists circling, shareholder lawsuit demands unwinding
  • Stock crumbled from $110 to $11 before rebounding to $21.50

A Tricky Road Ahead

  • Merging tech stacks, retaining customers a huge task
  • Balancing two sales channels: forwarders and direct shippers
  • Debt load is 5.5x EBITDA, ratings agencies downgrading
  • Q2 guidance and 2024 outlook eagerly awaited

The mega-deal was supposed to create an expedited shipping juggernaut. But the messy aftermath of layoffs, turmoil and debt suggests an extremely challenging road to get there.

The freight world will be watching closely if this ambitious merger can get back on track. Or if it goes down as one of the most disastrous acquisitions in recent freight history.

Source: FreightWaves

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