Hub Group Inc. this week announced the death of its founder and chairman, Phillip C. Yeager, from complications following a heart attack. Yeager, who was 80, was an intermodal industry pioneer who founded Hub Group Inc. in 1971 with his late wife Joyce. Working together as a team, the two built a company that started in a windowless one-room office above a flower shop and is today a publicly traded corporation with more than $1.6 billion in annual sales.
Yeager was born in 1927 in Bellevue, Ky., and began his transportation career in 1952 with the Pennsylvania Railroad. He worked for the railroad for 19 years, witnessing the introduction of intermodal service. Realizing its potential for growth, Yeager started Downers Grove, Ill.-based Hub Group with his wife Joyce by his side and $500 in cash.
With Yeager’s strong relationships at the railroads and his solid business reputation, customers began shipping with Hub Group in growing numbers. The company began a geographic expansion and had locations in more than 25 critical rail cities by 1985. Yeager remained an active chairman, company spokesman and industry advocate up until his death.