TopVet: Jim Kelly, Retired CEO of UPS

Jim Kelly

Jim Kelly is the retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for United Parcel Service, a position he held from January 1997 until December 2001. He continues to serve on the Board of Directors.

A native of Jersey City, New Jersey, Kelly earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Rutgers University. Following service in the U.S. Navy, his career with UPS began in 1964 as a package delivery driver in his home state.

He was promoted into management as a package distribution center manager in 1965. His advancement continued in various staff and operations positions of increasing responsibility.

In 1988, Kelly was elected Senior Vice President and appointed the company's Labor Relations Manager, becoming a key player in strategic decision making. Since 1991 he has served on the UPS Board of Directors.

In 1992, he became Chief Operating Officer and two years later Executive Vice President. He led several efforts to bring service quality to higher levels and has introduced service process innovations and integrated technologies throughout the company. Kelly led UPS in expanding its global imprint, taking the company public and further positioning it as a total supply chain solutions provider.

Mr. Kelly has said "UPS will become the world leader in integrating information technology and transportation as a means of enabling global trade. We see ourselves as an advocate for our customers and a stakeholder in their successes."

Mr. Kelly also serves on the Board of Directors of BellSouth and Dana Corporation. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the nation's largest charitable organization dedicated to disadvantaged youth.

The following is an Editorial Review review from
When you think of UPS, what comes to mind? Today, it employs over 360,000 people and operates in some 200 countries and territories. In this interview, CEO Jim Kelly--who began his UPS career 37 years ago as a driver--talks candidly about the challenges of trying to grow such a huge, mature business. Mr. Kelly explains the company's focus on international expansion, and he discusses how UPS chooses which new business streams to pursue.

To move forward, Kelly says, UPS has had to recast its mission: UPS enables global commerce not just by delivering packages but by facilitating the worldwide flow of information and funds as well. His biggest problem, he admits, has been giving UPS employees the confidence to take on all that new territory. He talks about how he helped foster a new self-image as a company of innovators, undaunted by an uncertain world.

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