Matthew Thornton III (’01)

Category: Alumni Professional Achievement | Awards

2017 Alumni Professional Achievement Award Winner

Matthew Thornton III obtained his MBA from the Haslam College of Business in 2001, but he had already begun his career with FedEx as an undergraduate studying at the University of Memphis.

He started as a package handler and went on to hold various management positions, eventually becoming vice president of regional operations; senior vice president of air, ground, and freight services; and senior vice president of US operations. Today, he serves as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of FedEx Freight, overseeing more than 40,000 team members and over 100,000 shipments every day across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

In 2016, he was recognized in Ebony’s Power 100 List of the World’s Most Inspiring and Influential African Americans. In 2017, he was named to Black Enterprise’s list of the Most Powerful Corporate Executives in Corporate America.

Since 2014, Thornton has been an independent director of the Sherwin Williams Company and formerly served on the board of Safe Kids Worldwide. He is also a member of the United Way Tocqueville Society and the Executive Leadership Council, the leading organization for the development of global black executives.