FedEx Loses Investors as Courts Upend Founder's Model - Bloomberg FedEx Corp. tells its ground-service drivers when to work, what to charge customers and what kind of socks and shoes to wear, the workers say. Drivers who sued the company argue that makes them employees. Founder and Chief Executive Officer Fred Smith, who has served as co-chair of U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain's campaign, opposes changing their status from independent contractors to employees. ``We've given that entrepreneurial opportunity to thousands of contractors to own, grow and expand their own business,'' Smith told investors in a Jan. 10 conference call. ``That's what freedom is all about.''