VOL. 133 | NO. 162 | Thursday, August 16, 2018
Jim Barksdale to End Long Association With FedEx in September
Special to The Daily News
James L. “Jim” Barksdale, Mississippi-born entrepreneur who oversaw FedEx’s early package tracking systems and 1990s web browsing pioneer Netscape, is aging off the FedEx board in September after 19 years.
Barksdale, chairman and president of Barksdale Management Corp. and a philanthropic force in his native state, is due to retire from the board before the annual shareholder meeting Sept. 24.
At 75, the 1965 Ole Miss graduate is no longer eligible to serve as a director, according to board bylaws.
Barksdale worked for FedEx for 13 years, from 1979 to 1992, serving as chief information officer, then executive vice president and chief operating officer.
He’s credited with leading development of a computer system capable of tracking millions of packages, the technological backbone of the expanding package delivery giant.
Barksdale left FedEx to become president and chief operating officer of McCaw Cellular Communications, a forerunner of AT&T Wireless.
He was part of the dot-com boom of the 1990s as president and chief executive officer of Netscape Communications Corp. from 1995 to 1999. He led Netscape through a wildly successful initial public offering and later into a merger with America Online (AOL)
In 2001, Barksdale was inducted into The Society of Entrepreneurs in Memphis.
His civic and charitable efforts in Mississippi included giving $100 million to create The Barksdale Reading Institute in 2000; chairing a governor’s commission overseeing Hurricane Katrina recovery; serving as interim executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority; and funding a school principal training program at University of Mississippi.
Barksdale and his wife, Donna, serve on the board of Mississippi Today, a nonprofit, statewide digital news and information organization.
Barksdale has served as a FedEx Corp. director since 1999 and has been chairman of the information technology oversight committee.