On July 1, 2007, Bruce Abels will retire from his position as president of Saddle Creek Corp. (Lakeland, Fla.). Cliff Otto will be promoted from executive v.p. to president of the provider of warehousing, transportation, and value-added services.
"This leadership change is part of our plan to transition to the next generation of Saddle Creek's future," Abels explained. "These changes re-affirm our strategic decision to remain privately held and are in the best interests of our customers and associates. Cliff has earned this opportunity and has the full support of our stockholders.
Abels will continue to be affiliated with Saddle Creek as vice chairman of the board. He also will provide advisory services to Saddle Creek's owners and management and will represent Saddle Creek on the board of the International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA), where he is an officer.
Otto will be only the third president in Saddle Creek's history. Currently, he is responsible for directing the company's warehousing and value-added operations. He joined Saddle Creek in 2001 as part of a succession plan to support continued private ownership with professional management.
Prior to joining Saddle Creek, Otto spent 11 years with CHEP USA, where he held positions including senior v.p./general manager and senior v.p. for North American sales. He also has served in various executive management positions in logistics and finance with Baxter Healthcare and American Can Co. Otto has held several leadership roles with various grocery industry associations and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), as well as serving as the national president of the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC).