Jacobs is managing director of Jacobs Private Equity, LLC and executive chairman of his current enterprise, XPO, Inc. (NYSE: XPO), which he founded in 2011. He also serves as non-executive chairman of XPO spin-offs GXO Logistics, Inc. (NYSE: GXO) and RXO, Inc. (NYSE: RXO).
In August 2022, Jacobs noted, “Every decade or so, I reinvent myself to create outsized shareholder value in another industry. XPO is set up for long-term success. When the time comes to focus on the next big thing, there will be no shortage of opportunities.”
Prior to XPO, Jacobs founded two other public companies: United Rentals, Inc. and United Waste Systems, Inc. All three companies became “ten-plus-baggers” when their stock prices rose more than 1,000% from the time he took control, and XPO’s stock price had increased by more than 2,000% by the time he spun off GXO in 2021. XPO was the 7th best-performing Fortune 500 stock of the past decade, based on Bloomberg market data.
Over the course of his career, Jacobs has led teams that completed approximately 500 acquisitions and opened over 250 greenfield locations. He has created hundreds of thousands of jobs and raised more than $25 billion of debt and equity capital, including three IPOs.
In 2010, Jacobs formed Jacobs Private Equity to make a substantial equity investment in a single company with the potential for superlative value creation.
In September 2011, Jacobs created XPO Logistics with a PIPE investment of up to $150 million in Express-1 Expedited Solutions, Inc., a publicly traded transportation and logistics provider. He selected this large, fragmented industry because it was ripe for consolidation and had the right attributes to leverage scale and technology. He led XPO as chairman and chief executive officer until 2022.
In 2012, Jacobs announced his intention to grow XPO’s revenue from $175 million to $5 billion within five years, primarily through M&A. By the end of 2016, XPO’s revenue was $15 billion. By 2021, Jacobs and his management team had built XPO into a top 10 global provider of transportation and logistics services with a market capitalization of $16.8 billion.
Jacobs subsequently led the spin-offs of two pubic companies from XPO: GXO in 2021 and RXO in 2022. GXO is the world’s largest pure-play contract logistics provider, with 975 warehouses totaling over 200 million square feet, including more than 50 UK sites gained with the $1.3 billion acquisition of Clipper Logistics in 2022. RXO is a leading brokered transportation platform in North America, with a proprietary technology ecosystem that connects approximately 10,000 customers with more than 100,000 independent carriers.
In 1997, Jacobs founded United Rentals and grew the company into the world's largest construction equipment rental provider within 13 months. In the 10 years that Jacobs ran United Rentals, he led approximately 250 acquisitions and the stock outperformed the S&P 500 Index by 2.2 times. By 2007, Jacobs had delivered a 25% compound annual rate of return from his initial investment and built United Rentals into the 536th largest public corporation in America, as ranked by Fortune magazine, with $3.9 billion in revenue and $1.2 billion in EBITDA.
In 1989, Jacobs founded United Waste Systems. During his eight years as chairman and chief executive officer, he grew the company into the fifth largest solid waste management business in North America. Its stock outperformed the S&P 500 Index by 5.6 times and delivered a 55% compound annual rate of return from its IPO until the company was sold for $2.5 billion in 1997. At the time of the sale, United Waste was a highly integrated organization of 40 landfills, 86 collection companies and 79 transfer and recycling stations in 25 states.
In 1984, Jacobs founded Hamilton Resources Ltd., a worldwide oil trading company, and grew revenue to approximately $1 billion, primarily through the execution of large contracts with major oil companies and oil-producing countries. Jacobs served as executive chairman from 1984 until 1989.
In 1979, Jacobs co-founded Amerex Oil Associates, Inc. and led the team that grew Amerex from a concept into one of the world's largest oil brokerage firms, with approximately $4.7 billion of annual gross contract volume and offices on three continents. Jacobs served as chief executive officer from 1979 until 1983.
Jacobs was ranked the Best CEO in Transportation in Institutional Investor's 2022 All-America Executive Team awards. In 2018, he was ranked 10th on Barron's list of the World's Best CEOs and was named a Top CEO by Glassdoor in France and the UK. He is a member of The Business Council in Washington, D.C. and The Economic Club of New York.
Jacobs was born in Providence, Rhode Island. He attended Northfield Mount Hermon School, Bennington College and Brown University. He and his wife live in Greenwich, Connecticut.