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Greenbrier, CSX And Norfolk Southern Announce Executive Appointments

FreightWaves

Railcar manufacturer Greenbrier (NYSE: GBX) and eastern U.S. railroads CSX (NYSE: CSX) and Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC) are adding some new faces to executive roles.

The changes come as freight railroads implement precision scheduled railroading, an operational model that seeks to streamline operations by moving railcars on a fixed schedule, and grapple with continued competition from the truck market.

Greenbrier

Railcar manufacturer GBX has promoted Lorie Tekorius to president and chief operating officer, the company said on August 29.

Tekorius, who served most recently as the company's chief operating officer as well as its chief financial officer, will oversee several GBX divisions, including strategic planning, the repair and parts business unit and other company departments such as global corporate health, safety and security, accounting, finance and human resources.

She will also continue to oversee the commercial, manufacturing and international business units. 

"The promotion announced today demonstrates Greenbrier's emphasis on growing from within as we continue to plan our future. In her enhanced role, Lorie will continue to focus on teamwork across our organization in pursuit of shared missions and objectives as the path to sustainable long-term success and shareholder value," said GBX chief executive officer Bill Furman.

Rail equipment analyst Matt Elkott with investment firm Cowen sees the promotion as indicative of chief executive officer succession plans for the future.

"Ms. Tekorius tends to be relatively conservative in her outlook commentary on conference calls and in presentations, something that could bode well for establishing a solid track record of earnings guidance," Elkott said in an August 29 note.

Norfolk Southern

Marc George will become executive vice president and chief financial officer on November 1 for NSC, replacing Cindy Earhart, who is retiring from the company.

George served at United Technologies (NYSE: UTX), where he spent more than 30 years. Most recently he was the vice president of finance and chief financial at Carrier Corporation, a segment at UTX. George also held similar positions at Otis Elevator Company, another UTX segment. 

"Mark's strong financial management skills and operational insight will enhance Norfolk Southern's focus on productivity and cost control," said NSC chief executive officer Jim Squires. "Honed by experience across multiple industrial segments, Mark's business acumen aligns perfectly with our vision of superior customer service, increased efficiency and continued growth."

Squires also said, "On behalf of the entire board and management team, I thank Cindy for her 34 years of service to Norfolk Southern. I have valued the critical role Cindy played in the development of our strategic plan and her support in delivering superior shareholder returns."

Earlier this month, NSC also announced two new appointments, effective immediately. Michael Farrell became senior vice president for operations and mechanical, while Vanessa Allen Sutherland became senior vice president of government relations and chief legal officer.

"In this expanded role, Mike brings the energy and operational insights that have, in less than a year, transformed our transportation performance, and applies them to our mechanical functions," said Mike Wheeler, NSC executive vice president and chief operating officer. "Mike's determination and proven approach will extract the same efficiencies in fuel consumption, fleet management – and across our operations – that he and his teams have already realized in equipment utilization and train operations."

Of Allen Sutherland, Squires said, "Constructive, informed and collaborative legal and regulatory environments are essential to Norfolk Southern's success. Vanessa's experience in corporate law – both at Norfolk Southern and elsewhere – enables her to protect and progress our positions across our business." 

He continued, "Likewise, Vanessa's understanding of government and community expectations and processes – honed during her tenure as the head of a federal agency – positions her to foster and deepen the dialogue that leads to innovation for the safety and prosperity of NS, our customers and shareholders, and the communities we serve." Squires was referring to Allen Sutherland's former roles as chief executive officer of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board and chief counsel of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

CSX

Energy research pro Adam Longston is joining CSX's sales and marketing team as its vice president of energy on September 9. 

Longston will be responsible for CSX's energy portfolio, which includes export and domestic utility coal, liquefied petroleum gas and crude oil. He was most recently the director of research and hedging at Continental Resources, and he was also head of commodity research at Madava Asset Management. He served two roles at Morgan Stanley as global head of energy commodity research and vice president of equity research for freight transportation, and he was a senior strategy analyst at British Petroleum.

"Adam's deep knowledge of the energy and transportation industries will be a great asset for CSX, as we continue to engage in more strategic and analytical approaches to generating growth and long-term success for the business," said Mark Wallace, CSX executive vice president for sales and marketing.

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