Freight Rail

Toll boss Byrne to step down

Michael Byrne will step down as managing director of freight and logistics firm Toll Group at the end of 2019.

Thomas Knudsen, currently president of Toll’s Global Forwarding division, will be the company’s next managing director.

Byrne announced he would step down on November 15.

The company announced in August it had sunk to a $114 million net loss in the 12 months ending March 2019, down from a profit of $11 million a year earlier.

Byrne was appointed as managing director at the start of 2017.

Chairman John Mullen said Byrne had led Toll through “numerous challenges” during his two-year stint.

“Michael was appointed as managing director at a pivotal time for the company,” Mullen said.

“Under Michael’s leadership, Toll has delivered on a comprehensive transformation program resulting in improved safety, a more efficient operating model, stronger operations and better governance across compliance, tax and regulatory matters.

“Toll is now well-positioned because of the foundations that Michael has created.”

“I am proud of the enourmous strides we have made that will position the company for future growth,” Byrne said. “Our journey to be a truly global, world class logistics company is a long-term aspiration. We have achieved much as a team, but there is a lot more to do.”

Knudsen has been president of Toll’s Global Forwarding division since January 2018. He will work out of Singapore in his new managing director roll from January 1, 2020.

“Thomas [Knudsen] is a seasoned logistics executive with proven capability to lead through significant change and growth across Asia in what is a very challenging environment,” Mullen said.

“Thomas was a standout candidate because of his deep knowledge of the industry, deep understanding of Asia, global experience and track record in building high performing international teams.”