Posts Tagged ‘railroad executives’

CSX Appoints 2 Top Managers

July 10, 2018

CSX has named two new executives whose appointments are effective immediately.

They include Mark Wallace, executive vice president sales and marketing, and Diana Sorfleet, executive vice president and chief administrative officer.

Wallace joined CSX in March 2017 as executive VP corporate affairs and chief of staff, and was named executive VP and CAO in January.

He previously worked with the late E. Hunter Harrison for 20 years and began his railroad career at Canadian National in 1995 as an analyst in the taxation and treasury function to assist on CN’s initial public offering.

Wallace also worked at Canadian Pacific between July 2012 and January 2017.

Currently serving as CSX’s chief human resources officer, Sorfleet will succeed Wallace. She will be responsible for information technology, human resources, labor relations, executive compensation and aviation.

She joined CSX in June 2011 after serving in human resources at Exelon, most recently as VP of diversity and development.

CSX also announced that Kevin Boone, who previously reported to Wallace, will continue as executive VP corporate affairs. He will become responsible for corporate communications and report to CEO James Foote.

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CSX VP Gets Additional Duties

April 25, 2018

CSX has named Vice President of Mechanical Brian Barr to the role of senior vice president of engineering and mechanical.

Barr will continue to be responsible for the mechanical department while leading the engineering team.

Vice President of Engineering Ricky Johnson will remain in that role and report to Barr, who will report to Executive Vice President of Operations Ed Harris.

Barr joined CSX in 2002 and has served as plant manager in Selkirk, New York; assistant division manager in Atlanta; division manager in Huntington, West Virginia; chief mechanical officer for the Southern Region; and vice president of mechanical.

Corman Names Transportation VP

April 17, 2018

Paul Lauritzen has been named vice present of transportation of R.J. Corman Railroad Group.

In a news release, the railroad said that Lauritzen will direct and oversee R. J. Corman Railroad Switching Company, which provides railroad services as loading, assembly, disassembly and movement of rail-car consists for U.S. industrial facilities.

Mike Philpot, who has been president of the switching company, will remain active at the company by providing operational direction in an advisory role. He also will transition to a strategic role for Corman, company officials said.

Prior coming to Corman, Lauritzen worked for 14 years at Big Ass Solutions, a Lexington, Kentucky-based manufacturer of fans, lights and controls for industrial, commercial and residential use.

At that company Lauritzen was vice president of manufacturing, VP of product management and VP of international business.

NS Names 2 as Vice Presidents

March 28, 2018

Norfolk Southern has named two new vice presidents, Michael R. McClellan and Claude E. “Ed” Elkins, effective April 1.

McClellan will become vice president strategic planning and report to NS CEO James A. Squares.

Elkins will become vice president industrial products and report to NS Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Alan H. Shaw.

McClellan joined Conrail’s general marketing and sales organization in 1985.

In 1998, he was named assistant vice president performance planning for Norfolk Southern, became vice president intermodal and automotive marketing in 2000, and vice president industrial products in 2013.

He holds an MBA from the University of Cincinnati and a degree in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia.

Elkins joined Norfolk Southern as a brakeman in 1988. After serving as a conductor and an engineer, he received a degree in English from Clinch Valley College of the University of Virginia (now the University of Virginia’s College at Wise).

He then joined the NS marketing department as pricing coordinator and subsequently served in positions in the intermodal and automotive group, and currently serves as group vice president industrial products.

Additionally, Elkins earned a master’s in business administration degree from Old Dominion University.

CSX Names New VP and Controller

March 21, 2018

Angela Williams has been named by CSX as vice president and corporate controller. She succeeds Andrew Glassman, who is leaving the company, but will remain through June 30 to assist the transition period of his successor.

Williams is currently CSX’s assistant controller and has served in various positions in the accounting department since joining the carrier in 2003

She is a certified public accountant and before coming to CSX worked at KPMG LLP and Winn-Dixie Stores.

“Angie’s depth of knowledge of our business and her strong accounting acumen will be invaluable as we continue to build momentum behind our strategy to become the best run railroad in North America,” said CSX Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Frank Lonegro in a statement.

CN Service Issues Led to CEO Ouster

March 15, 2018

Like CSX, Canadian National encountered service issues last year. Unlike at CSX, the Montreal-based CN decided that it needed more capital spending and to hire additional employees to resolve the problems. It also decided it needed a new CEO.

Speaking on Wednesday at the J.P. Morgan Aviation, Transportation & Industrials Conference, CN’s interim president and CEO said the railroad’s board of directors had been considering for several months replacing CEO Luc Jobin before ousting him last week.

“The board has been thinking long and hard about the leadership at CN,” said Jean-Jacques Ruest, who replaced Jobin. “They decided it was a time to make a change in leadership,” in order to bring more energy and a sense of urgency to fixing the railroad’s service problems, Ruest said.

In fairness, the services issues that CN faced had different roots than those at CSX.

Nonetheless, in commenting about CN’s dismissal of Jobin, Trains magazine noted that it is uncommon for a railroad to get rid of its CEO when the carrier faces a severe service crisis.

The magazine noted that in the past 25 years railroads have stood by their CEOs amid such situations as Union Pacific’s meltdown after acquiring Southern Pacific, the problems that persisted after CSX and Norfolk Southern divided Conrail, and BNSF’s congestion issues in 2013 and 2014.

CN’s woes began last fall when traffic surged by more than 20 percent in western Canada. The result was congestion on main lines and yards that left CN short of operating crews and motive power.

Further aggravating the situation was hard winter weather, derailments, and related line shutdowns that prompted CN to shorten, delay and detour trains.

That increased costs, lowered average train speeds and increased the time that cars spent in yards.

Ruest said the worst of the cold weather has ended and CN has begun to lengthen its trains.

CN management also decided to acquire additional locomotives, hire additional crews and increase track capacity in western Canada.

The added motive power will include 130 leased units and 200 new engines. The latter will be built between 2018 and 2020 and include GE Transportation ET44AC and ES44AC models.

Ruest said it’s likely that CN will see how the network is performing later this year before determining how to proceed as new motive power arrives.

He also said CN is seeking to perfect its traffic volume forecasting and capital planning process so as to avoid service problems again.

Ruest said CN still expects 2018 volume traffic growth of 3 to 5 percent and will continue its long-term strategy to collaborate with customers and grow faster than the overall North American economy.

“We have not changed strategy even though we have changed the CEO of the company,” Ruest said.

In the meantime the CN board is seeking a permanent CEO and many financial analysts expect Ruest to get the nod.

Jobin Abruptly Leaves as CN CEO

March 6, 2018

Canadian National CEO Luc Jobin has been ousted after two years in the position.

The Montreal-based Class 1 railroad did not give a specific reason why Jobin left other than to issue a statement that its board of directors “believes the company needs a leader who will energize the team, realize CN’s corporate vision and take the company forward with the speed and determination CN is known for.”

The board named Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jean-Jacques Ruest as interim president and CEO “until a permanent replacement is in place.”

Railway Age magazine quoted Cowen & Company Managing Director Jason Seidl as saying that Jobin’s abrupt departure “will no doubt leave investors with more questions than answers in the short term.”

Seidl said CN has what he termed “a deep management bench.” He expects Ruest to be respected by investors and customers alike and to likely become CN’s permanent CEO. Ruest has been at CN for 22 years.

“Investors have already had to endure a nearly 9 percent drop in CN’s shares this year, making it the worst performing Class I railroad year to date,” Seidl said. “Today’s news is likely to exacerbate this gap somewhat. However, we remain confident in the company’s ability to recover and deliver value to its shareholders over the long term. Indeed, CN has a long history of being one of the best performing railroads in North America with a laser focus on its customers. We do not believe this will change, but this may be little solace for those with shorter investment time horizons.”

Ex-CSX VP Lands Job at Union Pacific

January 29, 2018

A former CSX high-ranking executive who was forced out of her job as vice president and chief operations officer had handed a VP job with Union Pacific.

Sanborn

Cindy Sanborn, the first woman to hold a senior operating executive role at a Class I railroad,  was among three CSX executives who left the carrier last November during a management shakeup instituted by then-CEO E. Hunter Harrison.

Sanborn will become regional vice president transportation-western region at UP on Feb. 16.

She will replace the retiring Richard Castagna and lead rail operations in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico from a base in Roseville, California.

Sanborn had held various management positions during her 30 years at CSX.

NS Appoints VP of Law and Administration

January 25, 2018

John Scheib has been appointed by Norfolk Southern to serve as executive vice president of law and administration and chief legal officer.

John Scheib

The appointment will become effective March 1 when William Galanko will retire after working for the railroad for 28 years.

Scheib joined NS as an attorney in the law department in 2005. His previous positions in the department have included vice president law (2016) and senior vice president law and corporate relations (2017).

In his new role, Scheib will oversee law, government relations, corporate communications, human resources and labor relations.

Before joining NS, Scheib served as chief of staff and counsel to the chairman of the U.S. Surface Transportation Board and as counsel to the railroad subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Galanko joined NS in 1990 as a tax attorney and was named an officer of the company in 1999, when he was named vice president taxation. He subsequently served in several senior executive positions before being named executive vice president law and administration in 2017.

CSX to Require CEOs to Get Annual Exam

January 24, 2018

The board of directors of CSX has decided that henceforth all of its CEOs will have an annual visit with a doctor.

The board will adopt the policy change in the wake of the death of former CEO E. Hunter Harrison last month.

The health of the 72-year-old Harrison had been an issue when he was hired as CEO last spring.

Harrison was known to have health issues and the CSX board at the time insisted that his medical records be reviewed by an independent physician. But Harrison balked, saying that his doctor had cleared him to assume the CEO position.

The CSX board dropped its demand and Harrison took over the C suite at CSX in March.

Harrison died on Dec. 16 two days after taking a medical leave for unspecified health problems.

Railway Age magazine has reported that Harrison suffered from emphysema and it had been widely reported that he used supplemental oxygen.

Federal securities laws do not require companies to disclose executive health problems, but some firms provide that information because it might affect an investor’s decisions to buy or sell stock.

It is not uncommon for companies to be cagey about why their CEOs take medical leave.

United Continental Holdings, the parent company of United Airlines, for example disclosed that its CEO Oscar Munoz had been hospitalized but did not initially reveal in October 2015 that he had suffered a heart attack.

Munoz, who once headed CSX, underwent a transplant and returned to work the following year.

Thomas Flannery, managing partner at the executive search firm Boyden, described the matter of forcing an executive to share his or her medical history with a board of directors as a slippery slope because of privacy concerns. It could have a bigger downside than upside.

He said he encourages executives and their boards to be open about health problems and whether they affect the executive’s ability to fulfill his or her duties.

The CSX board plans to change its policy next month during a meeting, thus avoiding a vote on a resolution that was set to be introduced at the company’s annual meeting.

The policy will require the CEO to get a comprehensive physical performed by a medical provider chosen by the board, according to a letter submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

A CSX spokesman would not comment on the matter.

The shareholder vote had been proposed by John Fishwick, a Virginia attorney who owns 1,000 shares of CSX stock.