ATLANTA - Robert "Bob" Stoffel, current senior vice president for supply chain, strategy, engineering and sustainability for UPS, announced he would retire Jan. 1 after 35 years with the company. Stoffel is a part-time truck loader who rose to UPS' highest ranks and who helped build the broad array of logistics services that now define UPS.

Under his leadership, UPS has announced target goals for improving the carbon efficiency of its airline and miles per gallon performance of its vehicle fleet. The company also became the first global carrier to offer a carbon neutral shipping option in the United States and now is widely recognized as a sustainability leader. UPS' alternative-fuel fleet of trucks, the largest in the package delivery industry, has grown to more than 1,940 vehicles in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

A member of UPS' Management Committee since 2004, Stoffel's current responsibilities for supply chain, engineering and sustainability will be assumed by Chief Operating Officer David Abney. His responsibilities in the strategy arena have been assigned to Alan Gershenhorn, the senior vice president for worldwide sales and marketing.

Stoffel joined UPS in 1975 in metro Chicago as a part-time loader/unloader while earning a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Illinois-Chicago. He became a part-time supervisor a year later and by 1986, had been promoted to the post of district industrial engineering manager in the North Florida District. Stoffel subsequently rose through a series of jobs with increasing responsibility before being elevated in 1995 to coordinator of corporate industrial engineering activities.

That position, in turn, led to Stoffel taking over leadership of UPS's Quality function and then working as UPS's transportation process manager as well as time spent in the corporate research and development and marketing functions. It was in 2000, one year after UPS went public, that Stoffel's career broadly shifted to helping the company integrate the many new companies it was acquiring to build logistics capabilities around the globe.

When he was promoted to the Management Committee in 2004, Stoffel assumed command of what at the time was known as the Supply Chain Group after heading one of the group's four units -- UPS Supply Chain Solutions. He had overseen the integration of 16 acquired companies into UPS Supply Chain Solutions and then led the unit to profitability.

During his tenure on the Management Committee, Stoffel's responsibilities expanded to encompass oversight of the Corporate Strategy, UPS Capital and Engineering Departments and most recently, to provide a single point of coordinated leadership for UPS's myriad sustainability and environmental programs.

Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.