KNOXVILLE – Pilot Company, the leading supplier of fuel and the largest operator of travel centers in North America, announced today that CEO Jimmy Haslam will become chairman of the board on Jan. 1, 2021, and has named Shameek Konar, the company’s chief strategy officer, as CEO at that time. As a family operated company for 62 years, Founder James (Jim) Haslam and Jimmy Haslam will remain involved in the business as chairman emeritus and chairman, respectively. The transition of Konar to the role of CEO will continue over the next six months.
“Since day one with Pilot in 2017, Shameek has shown his dedication to advancing our company and the industry,” said Jimmy Haslam, current CEO. “Shameek has successfully launched and grown our Pilot Energy business and become a key member of our leadership team. His knowledge of the energy sector, including expertise in the acquisition, development and operations of infrastructure assets and resources, and his deep appreciation of Pilot’s culture and values are a few of the reasons why we chose him to be our next CEO. We have full confidence that Shameek will continue to grow the legacy of our family’s business.”
Konar has had a strong track record throughout his career with more than 20 years of experience in the energy and commodity market focusing on acquiring, integrating and optimizing assets. He has a degree in Economics and Mathematics from St. Stephens College in India and a PhD in Economics and Finance from Vanderbilt University.
“Thanks to Jimmy and Ken Parent’s leadership, we are well positioned for what’s ahead and have an incredible team to get us there,” said Konar, chief strategy officer at Pilot. “When joining the Pilot family, I was immediately drawn to the strong culture that Jimmy and the entire Haslam family created. As CEO, I will be deeply committed to keeping those values in place and investing in our team, while also working to better serve our guests, advance our goals and continue to strategically grow the business.”
Effective immediately, Konar will take on additional responsibilities, including the management of technology, HR, finance and legal. The real estate team will continue to report to Jimmy Haslam and the store operations and development teams will continue to report to Ken Parent, president. As CEO, store operations and development will be added to Konar’s role in 2021.
In January, Parent will become senior advisor to the CEO and the chairman, providing guidance on strategy and key priorities for the company. Parent has helped the company achieve significant growth through the development of successful systems and processes, as well as building an outstanding leadership team. The rest of Pilot’s management team will stay in place.
In 2021 and beyond, the Haslam family will continue to be involved. In addition to Jim and Jimmy, Whitney Haslam Johnson will continue to serve as chief experience officer and member of the board, and Bill Haslam will serve on the board.
This next phase of leadership ensures the company will remain committed to the industry and to expanding the business while upholding the values instilled by the Haslam family. Jim Haslam founded Pilot Corporation in 1958 with one gas station and the family has led the business to become the industry leader it is today. The company has grown to become the nation’s largest operator of travel centers with more than 950 locations and is the largest seller of over-the-road diesel fuel. Pilot has a compelling growth strategy in place and a bright future ahead.