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FedEx officers, directors accept buyout plan

NEW YORK — FedEx Corp., the world’s second biggest package delivery company, said Wednesday that it will lose more than 10 percent of its U.S.-based executives under a voluntary buyout plan.

The Memphis, Tenn., company says its personnel will leave the company in stages through May 2014.

Company spokesman Glen Brandow declined to say how many employees are leaving, or even how many U.S.-based officers and executives FedEx employs.

Most employees won’t learn if they’re eligible for the buyouts until next week, but they learned about the reductions in emails from their bosses.

In December FedEx offered employees up to two years’ pay to leave. It’s seeking to reduce annual costs by $1.7 billion by 2016. The company said then that it was pessimistic about the U.S. economy but confident about growing its own earnings.

FedEx is viewed as a bellwether of the nation’s economic health because of the vast number and kinds of shipments it handles for consumers and businesses. It employs more than 278,000 people worldwide, according to FactSet.

The news comes on the same day the U.S. Postal Service said it will end Saturday mail delivery to stem massive financial losses. FedEx has an agreement with the Postal Service in which it helps deliver small packages to post offices around the country. The Postal Service says it will continue to deliver packages on a six-day schedule, and analysts don’t think curtailing Saturday mail will have a serious impact on FedEx or rival UPS.

FedEx shares rose $1.10 to close at $106.17. They picked up another 11 cents in after-hours trading.