School transportation provider First Student has named John Kenning the company’s new chief executive officer and president. Kenning replaces Paul Osland, who has chosen to retire.
“I want to thank Paul for his passionate and focused leadership over the past six years,” said First Student Chairman Jake Brace. “His many achievements during this time have helped ensure millions of children get to and from school safely each day. The entire student transportation industry has benefited greatly from Paul’s leadership, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. I am confident John will also drive the industry forward and build on the company’s success, delivering on our promise to provide the best possible service to the school districts and families we serve.”
Kenning brings a wealth of experience managing fleet-based businesses and distributed field workforces. He has a proven track record of leading through technological innovation, commercial excellence, and operational rigor to provide best-in-class services to customers.
“This is an exciting time for First Student as we lead the way in school bus innovation,” said Kenning. “I look forward to building on the market-leading platform the company has established. These cutting-edge efforts include the electrification of our fleet, providing cleaner transportation options for communities, and implementing new technologies to further enhance the safe, reliable and vital service we provide for our school district partners and their students.”
Kenning most recently served as the Americas’ CEO at G4S, a security services and technology provider. Before joining G4S, Kenning was president, commercial business for OfficeMax, overseeing the global, business-to-business division. Kenning also served as president of North America commercial for ADT/Tyco International. During his tenure, he transformed the commercial business to become a technology services leader.
Osland joined the company in 2016 as chief operating officer and was appointed president and CEO in 2019. Under his leadership, Osland helped grow First Student through stronger customer retention, new business sales, and reenergized acquisitions. An increased number of school districts have benefited from the company’s preeminent driver training program, top safety record and custom technologies.