Company News

Leadership Transition at Pilot Co.

Haslam stepping out of CEO role to become chairman
pilot haslam konar csp
Photograph courtesy of Pilot Co.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — As Pilot Co. transitions toward Berkshire Hathaway assuming a controlling interest in the travel-center company in 2023, CEO Jimmy Haslam will become chairman on Jan. 1, 2021, and Shameek Konar, the company's chief strategy officer, will succeed Haslam as CEO at that time. Founder James (Jim) Haslam will also remain involved in the business as chairman emeritus. President Ken Parent will become senior advisor to the CEO and the chairman.

Konar has more than 20 years of experience in the energy and commodity market focusing on acquiring, integrating and optimizing assets. His transition to the role of CEO will continue over the next six months.

Effective immediately, he will take on additional responsibilities, including the management of technology, HR, finance and legal. The real estate team will continue to report to Haslam and the store operations and development teams will continue to report to Parent. Store operations and development will be added to Konar's role in 2021.

As senior advisor to the CEO and the chairman, Parent will provide guidance on strategy and key priorities for the company. Parent has helped the company achieve significant growth through the development of successful systems and processes, as well as building an outstanding leadership team. The rest of Pilot's management team will stay in place.

The Haslam family will continue to be involved. In addition to Jim and Jimmy, Whitney Haslam Johnson will continue to serve as chief experience officer and member of the board, and former Tennessee governor Bill Haslam will serve on the board.

This next phase of leadership ensures the company will remain committed to the industry and to expanding the business, it said.

"Since day one with Pilot in 2017, Shameek has shown his dedication to advancing our company and the industry," said Haslam. "Shameek has successfully launched and grown our Pilot Energy business and become a key member of our leadership team. His knowledge of the energy sector, including expertise in the acquisition, development and operations of infrastructure assets and resources, and his deep appreciation of Pilot's culture and values are a few of the reasons why we chose him to be our next CEO. We have full confidence that Shameek will continue to grow the legacy of our family's business."

In October 2017, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. made a minority investment in Pilot Travel Centers LLC, doing business as Pilot Flying J, acquiring a 38.6% equity stake in the company. The Haslam family continues to hold a majority interest with 50.1% ownership in the company, and FJ Management Inc., owned by the Maggelet family, retains 11.3% ownership until 2023. In 2023, Berkshire Hathaway will become the majority shareholder by acquiring an additional 41.4% equity stake, and the Haslam family will retain 20% ownership in the company.

Founded in 1958 and based in Knoxville, Tenn., Pilot supplies more than 11 billion gallons of fuel per year and has a network of more than 950 retail and fueling locations. The company’s travel center network includes approximately 750 Pilot and Flying J locations in 44 U.S. states and six Canadian provinces with more than 680 restaurants, 74,000 truck parking spaces, 5,300 showers, 6,200 diesel lanes and 35 Truck Care service centers. The One9 Fuel Network provides fleets and professional drivers with places to stop at a variety of fueling locations. With its tanker fleet, Pilot's energy division supplies fuel, diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), biofuels and renewable fuels.

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