James A. “Jimmy” Haslam III serves as Pilot Company’s chairman of the board. Founded in 1958, Pilot Company is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee and employs 30,000 Team Members. In 2023, Berkshire Hathaway acquired 80% majority ownership of Pilot Company with the Haslam family remaining actively involved and invested as a 20% minority owner.
Previously serving as chief executive officer for 25 years, Jimmy propelled Pilot Company to become one of the leading suppliers of fuel and the largest operator of travel centers in North America.
A native of Knoxville, Jimmy began his career at Pilot Corporation in 1976. In 1980, he was named vice president of sales, development and operations. At that time, Pilot operated 100 convenience stores with annual fuel sales of about 125 million gallons. Pilot opened its first travel center in 1981, and by 1996 – the same year Jimmy was named president and chief executive officer – the company operated 96 travel centers and 50 convenience stores and its total gallon sales had reached 1.2 billion. Pilot Corporation attained yet another milestone in 2001 when it joined with Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC to form Pilot Travel Centers LLC.
In 2008, Pilot Corporation announced that CVC Capital Partners had acquired 50 percent interest in Pilot Travel Centers, facilitating the sale by Marathon Petroleum Company (formerly Marathon Ashland Petroleum) of its interest in Pilot Travel Centers. Pilot Corporation retained 50 percent ownership of Pilot Travel Centers. In 2015, the Haslam family acquired all of CVC Capital Partners’ shares in the company. Pilot’s convenience store operations continue to be fully owned by Pilot Corporation.
In 2010, Pilot Travel Centers LLC joined with Flying J Inc. to form a combined network of more than 550 travel centers. In 2012, Pilot Flying J acquired Western Petroleum and the majority ownership of Maxum Petroleum and in 2013 formed Maxum Enterprises LLC, d/b/a Pilot Logistics Services. In 2014, Pilot Logistics Services merged with Thomas Petroleum to form Pilot Thomas Logistics.
Jimmy’s civic involvement includes service on the board of directors of Anderson Media Corporation and the American Federation for Children (AFC). He also has served on the boards of the United Way of Greater Knoxville, Lakeshore Park in Knoxville and the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO). In addition, he served as honorary chair of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland campaign committee and as campaign chair for Knox Area Rescue Ministries and United Way of Greater Knoxville.