David Abney

UPS Chairman & CEO

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What Was the Worst Advice Someone Gave You?

You know, the worst advice is that ... And I don't know that I've ever gotten it directly, but it's just kind of in society is this thing that you have to put yourself first.…

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What Advice Would You Give a First-Time Manager?

You know, the advice I give our first-time managers is really, really simple, is take care of your people. Put your people first. If you do that and you show people that you really care,…

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What Is Your Biggest Time-Saving Trick?

Unfortunately, lately, my biggest time saving trick seems to be going to bed too late and getting up too early. It's not something I'm really proud of, but really, the key for time management is…

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How Do You Give Critical Feedback?

First, I think you are always looking for how you can be positive with people. Then, you have to be very honest. You have to tell them what you need to tell them, but you…

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How Do You Handle Receiving Criticism?

I learned a long time ago from a person that I worked for that wasn't the most tactful person in the world that she had to receive the message and not worry too much about the…

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Should Leaders Show Their Vulnerability?

The value of vulnerability. Well first place, you're gonna see that most leaders probably would rather not talk about vulnerability, right? They would rather talk about their strengths. But at the end of the day,…

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How Do You Strike a Balance Between Speed and Accuracy in Your Company?

Oh both of them are very important, so we use the word "and" verses "or", so if you ever start to think that you can do one or the other, then you usually don't do…

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What's a Sign Someone Is Ready for a Promotion?

You know, the biggest thing I look for is how they carry themselves. How they carry themselves in bad times and in good times. How they carry themselves when they are speaking in front of…

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How Much of Your Career Has Been Planned and How Much Has It Been Left up to Chance?

You know, I wouldn't say that any of it has been left to chance, but I would also say that not all of it has been planned either. I could not, at 18 years old,…

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How Do You Keep Your Superstar Employees Happy?

In any company, retaining the best of the best is so important. And we believe the first thing you have to do is identify those that have much greater ability than others that can still…

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How Do You Keep Long-Term Employees Motivated?

You know, the great thing about UPS, and I'll use myself as an example, in those 40-something years that I've worked for the company, I've had over 20 jobs. So, in many cases, I felt…

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How Do You Onboard New College Graduates?

At UPS, new graduates, those that have just finished their education, are very important to us, and it's one of our primary recruiting avenues. We really try to make it personal. We let them know…

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How Long Should It Take for a New Hire to Start Making Independent Contributions?

You know, the benefit of technology today is new hires can really play a key role much earlier than they could when I started. When I started, the first thing I had to do was…

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How Do You Overcome Indecision?

I think the first thing you have to realize is that indecision is really a decision. So, you have a choice, you either make a decision and you go with that based on the facts…

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If You Could Accomplish Only One Thing as CEO, What Would It Be?

If I was going to be measured on one thing, it would be leaving this company in better shape than it was when I became the CEO. I'm the 11th CEO and I'm sure everyone…

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"Grew up in Greenwood, Mississippi with population of 16,000"

David Abney, who began his career as a part-time package loader while in college, serves as Chief Executive Officer of UPS. David was appointed CEO in 2014, and is the 11th CEO in the 108-year history of UPS. He was unanimously appointed by the Board of Directors as Chairman in 2016. David previously served as Chief Operating Officer, overseeing logistics, sustainability, engineering and all facets of the UPS transportation network, which serves more than 220 countries and territories and includes a ground fleet of more than 96,000 vehicles and an air fleet of more than 500 aircraft. UPS operates major air hubs in Louisville, Kentucky; Cologne, Germany; and Shenzhen, China.

Before serving as COO, David was president of UPS International, leading the company's strategic initiative to increase its global logistics capabilities. During his career, David was also involved in a number of global acquisitions that included the Fritz Companies, Stolica, Lynxs, and Sino-Trans in China.

Earlier in his career, he served as president of SonicAir, a same-day delivery service that signaled UPS's move into the service parts logistics sector. David began his UPS career in 1974 in a small facility in Greenwood, Mississippi, while attending Delta State University.

In addition to his corporate responsibilities, David serves as a Trustee of The UPS Foundation and chairman of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta. He is also a member of the President's Export Council, the Board of Directors of Johnson Controls, and the Business Roundtable. As Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, David serves on the UPS Board of Directors’ Executive Committee.

A native of Greenwood, Miss., David earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Delta State University. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Delta State University Alumni Foundation. He and his wife, Sherry, sponsor the school’s annual symposium on international business.