IIT-ian Raj Subramaniam’s journey to the top at FedEx

New times.
New times.
Image: REUTERS/Russell Cheyne/File Photo
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The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have one more reason to cheer. Another of their alumni has grabbed a top position at a global company.

Raj Subramaniam, a product of IIT Bombay, was yesterday (March 29) named the new president and CEO of global delivery giant FedEx Corp. The move followed founder Frederick Smith’s announcement that he will step down from his role after a five-decade stint.

“As we look toward what’s next, I have a great sense of satisfaction that a leader of the calibre of Raj Subramaniam will take FedEx into a very successful future,” Smith said on the appointment of the new CEO.

Who is Raj Subramaniam?

The Indian-born Subramaniam has more than 30 years of global experience across strategy and operations at FedEx. He is “an accomplished and proven leader and has the full support of the Board,” Smith said yesterday.

Before his promotion, 54-year-old Subramaniam served FedEx Corp as its president and COO. He has worked in various executive roles, including executive vice-president and chief marketing and communications officer.

Raj Subramaniam
Raj Subramaniam
Image: FedEx

He also served as president of FedEx Express in Canada and in several other management and marketing roles throughout Asia and the US since joining the company in 1991.

A native of Thiruvananthapuram in the southern Indian state of Kerala, he graduated in chemical engineering from IIT Bombay in 1987. Subramaniam then completed his master’s degree from Syracuse University in 1989.

Besides, he also holds an MBA in marketing and finance from the University of Texas.

He was elected to the FedEx board of directors only in 2020 but has also served on the board of First Horizon Corp, the US Chamber of Commerce’s China Center Advisory Board, FIRST, US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, and the US-China Business Council.

Subramaniam in the league of Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella

Fellow IITians like Google’s Sundar Pichai and Twitter’s Parag Agarwal have been heading global companies. Now Subramaniam joins the elite group. Last December, the French luxury house, Chanel, announced the appointment of Leena Nair as its new CEO.

This growing interest of global companies in Indian talent hasn’t gone unnoticed. Last year, the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, acknowledged how the US is largely benefitting from “Indian talent.”