David Abney – A Business Executive
David Abney is an accomplished business leader who has held executive roles at nine different companies. Currently he sits on the boards of Macy’s and Catalyst – both organizations dedicated to supporting women into senior management and board positions.
He was raised in Greenwood, Mississippi. He earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration at Delta State University. Additionally, he co-founded its International Business Symposium.
Early Life and Education
David Abney was born May 1st 1950 in Monetta South Carolina to Brawley and Ruth Bluford Abney.
He became the first in his family to attend college when he enrolled at Delta State University in 1973, receiving a scholarship that covered half his tuition costs.
While in college, he began part-time work for UPS as a package loader and eventually worked his way up through the ranks to become their Chief Executive Officer.
He currently sits on the boards for both Johnson Controls and Delta State University. He understands the significance of giving back to communities that helped him become successful, always placing others before himself. He takes great pride in his achievements and hopes to continue helping people around him.
David Abney has dedicated his professional career to logistics. Beginning as a package loader at UPS in 1974, he has held various leadership roles throughout his career.
He currently holds the positions of chief operating officer and president for UPS Airlines. In his current capacity as COO he oversees logistics, sustainability and engineering across their global transportation network spanning more than 200 countries and territories.
He was honored as one of Atlanta’s Most Admired CEOs in 2018 and 2019, receiving Columbia University’s Deming Cup for Operational Excellence as recognition. Additionally, he serves on The UPS Foundation and Annie E. Casey Foundation boards of trustees while being an active member in other groups such as World Affairs Council of Atlanta, Business Roundtable and Catalyst (an organization which advances women into leadership and board positions).
Achievement and Honors
David Abney has led UPS since 2014. Since that time, he has successfully transitioned its culture of “Constructive Dissatisfaction” to one of “Continuous Transformation.” As CEO, he accelerated its strategy by aligning resources, speeding processes and technologies, and driving significant increases in revenue, earnings per share and shareholder value growth.
He expanded the company’s global logistics capabilities through several strategic acquisitions such as Coyote, Marken, the Fritz Companies Sonic Air Stolica Lynx Express and Sino-Trans.
Mr. Abney has received multiple industry honors, such as being recognized as one of Atlanta’s Most Admired CEOs and inducted into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. Additionally, both Sherry and him remain dedicated supporters of Delta State University where they host their alma mater’s Annual International Business Symposium.
As a 19-year-old living in Greenwood, Mississippi, David Abney began working for United Parcel Service part time to pay for his girlfriend’s tuition at Delta State University. Once graduated and moving to Atlanta for graduation, Abney continued working his way up the UPS ladder as an employee, supervisor and ultimately CEO of the company.
He also gave back to the community by sponsoring an international symposium at Delta State and serving as trustee for his alma mater.
He is passionate about giving those in need assistance, particularly those in small towns like his. Raised in such an environment himself, he believes helping people can change the world for good.
David Abney reportedly has an estimated net worth of $5 Million and sources most of his income through business ventures.
He and Sherry both take great pride in their Mississippian roots and are active participants in their local community.
Abney earned $14.6 million in total compensation last year – up from $499,494 earned the previous year – as CEO and received various bonuses.
UPS appointed him CEO from 2014 until mid-2020 when he retired as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Among his many duties were logistics, sustainability and engineering issues as well as managing all facets of UPS’s global transportation network.