by Mark Scheinbaum
American Reporter Correspondent
Lake Worth, Fla.
February 21, 2001
LAKE WORTH, Fla. -- We were jawboning around the office about theultimate "contrarian" plays in a declining stock market, and frankly UPS-- the old United Parcel Service never was mentioned.
Then my daughter, spending a college semester in London, pointed meto a Website she had been working with and the power and strength of theUPS brand name, and the intrinsic value as a long-term investment hit meright in the nose. Consider the case of John Warrick, who next week will be a featured speaker at the Global Knowledge Exchange 2001 thinkfest there. Warrick will be sharing the spotlight with global economic andpolitical leaders in an event hosted by the Loyal Opposition, currently the Conservative Party which is gearing up for a May election. While manyof the speakers bost noble titles, degrees from Eaton, Harrow, Oxford andCambridge, Warrick is burdened with no such acoutrements.
How about a former truck driver? How about a guy who drove a UPS del= ivery truck in his nativeSouthern Ohio in the late 1960s and early 1970s? How about a guy who went up the ladder the hard way, and is now president of UPS' entire European operations? "With a European distribution network second to none, UPS is the natural partner for European business," the conference registration materials say, quoting Warrick.
"Our extensive service portfolio andinvestments in technology over the last 10 years, meet the needs of businesses, whether large or small. UPS is now ideally positioned to helpour customers fully leverage the opportunities offered by the accelerating integration of the EU and the exciting business potential of the 21st Century virtual economy." In recent days Wall Street has seen the CEO of Northwest Airlines take the job as head of Burger King. Too often guys and gals such as "Chainsaw" Al Dunlap move from job to job with reputations as "turnaround artists" but track records which sometimes indicate they're another kind of artist. Brand loyalty and corporate loyalty have evapo= rated in recent decades. Corporations fire longtime employees who help make a quarterly "whisper number" for Wall Street analysts. Valued employees jump ship fora nicer BMW or sales meeting at The Breakers in Palm Beach.
The UPS culture, which includes many top managers who came upthrough the ranks of the Teamsters' Union, still places a premium on climbing the corporate ladder, and earning your keep. In the case of UPS management, those earnings can lead to millionaire status by retirement time. Languishing near it's IPO price, seeming to trade forever at the $60 range, is UPS a "buy?" Well, we'll just run some of Mr. Warrick's bio, and you decide if this is the kind of guy you'd bet a few bucks on: "As President of UPS Europe, John Warrick, 52 , is responsible forUPS' key international Europe Region. The remit covers all UPS businessactivity and operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "Bringing a wealth of experience to the positio= n, Warrick'sprevious postings in Asia and the U.S. have provided him with a firm understanding of developing markets and cultural complexities. UPS employs over 24,000 employees in Europe and provides service more than 130 countries in the region. UPS' more than 200,000 regular customers shippackages and documents domestically, within Europe and worldwide usingUPS' highly compe= titive service portfolio. "Warrick started his UPS career more than 30 years ago as a delivery driver in South Ohio. He soon moved into management positions,following the traditional UPS career path as centre supervisor, center manager and in 1974, as division manager. In 1981 Warrick took a specialassignment as part of a project planning team set up to establish UPS's airoperations in Louisville. The team and the formation of this air operation were critical in laying the path for what ultimately led to the successful formation of the UPS Airline - the world's fastest growing airline and now the 11th largest.
"From 1988 Warrick gained substantial international experience in Asia, as part of the international planning group assigned to set up UPS operations in the Far East. With a number of relocations between Hong Kongand Singapore, Warrick was ultimately responsible, in 1992, for NorthAsia, UPS's key district - at that time accounting for 70% of UPS' Asian business. In 1994, Warrick took up the position of operations manager for the whole region.
"Reassigned to a district in Pennsylvania in 1995, Warrick was ableto re-familiarise himself with UPS's mature U.S. operations. Later, as Vice President for New Product Development at UPS' worldwide headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., Warrick was responsible for new and enhanced product offerings.
"A further international assignment in January 2000 brought Warrick to Europe, as President. Europe is a region of vital importance to UPS's global business, with a mature, well established operation, in a marketplace with huge potential. "A native of Ohio, Warrick currently resides with his wife Deborah,in Brussels.
"Let's see, UPS or Priceline.com? What a tough decision. Not!