Driving force at New Century cuts back
After 12 years at the helm of New Century Transportation, a company that he founded, Harry Muhlschlegel has retired as CEO.
Posted: Sunday, February 5, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 5:52 am, Sun Feb 5, 2012.
By Chris Bishop Staff writer
But, Muhlschlegel stressed in an interview Friday, he’ll remain active with the trucking company that employs 1,500.
“I don’t see myself as retired,” he said. “I’ll be as active as necessary.”
Muhlschlegel, 65, said he wants to have more time to spend with his family — especially his eight grandchildren.
He will remain vice chairman of the board of directors.
Harry Muhlschlegel, owner of New Century Transportation, shown here at the Westampton facility, has retired as CEO of the company he founded.
New Century, which Muhlschlegel founded in 2000, will now be led by transportation industry veteran Terrence M. Gilbert, former president of Roadway Express. Gilbert will become CEO.
Muhlschlegel, a Southampton resident, called his successor a “proven leader in the transportation industry.”
“I believe we have the right guy. You don’t replace this job overnight,” Muhlschlegel said, referring to Gilbert’s 30 years of operating experience.
Gilbert, 55, “will provide our customers with a continuation of the quality service they have come to expect from New Century,” Muhlschlegel said.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to succeed Harry and lead the company into its next phase of growth,” Gilbert said in a statement. “I look forward to working with management, drivers and all employees to continue to expand New Century.”
In a January interview, Brian Fitzpatrick, chief financial officer, stressed that Muhlschlegel — for whom he has worked for two decades — would remain active. “His calendar is full,” Fitzpatrick said. “He cares about the drivers. He has an emotional tie to everyone.”
A proposed initial public offering that would have taken the company public two years ago is “on hold,” Fitzpatrick said. “The economy has slowed everybody down.”
Muhlschlegel did not want to disclose the company’s revenue, but he said he’s “pleased to see the way things are moving.”
He said the trucking industry continues to face challenges, including increased federal regulations, rising diesel fuel prices and an older generation of drivers who are retiring.
“We don’t have a younger population (of drivers) in this generation,” Muhlschlegel said, but added that his company’s turnover was much lower than other firms.
New Century, which has 1,000 trucks, is Muhlschlegel’s second trucking company.
With his wife, Karen, he founded Jevic Transportation in 1981. The couple built a major carrier that was based on Creek Road in Delanco. They turned Jevic into a public company in 1997, retaining majority ownership.
The Yellow Corp. bought Jevic in 1999. The company was subsequently sold to private equity firm Sun Capital, which closed Jevic in 2008. Muhlschlegel began to lease space at part of the former Jevic facility in Delanco in 2010 for New Century.
Since 2000, New Century has bought several rivals, including Western Freightways, P&P Transport and Edward M. Rude Carrier Corp. Jefferies Capital Partners, a private-equity firm in New York, bought a controlling share in New Century in 2006.
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