Norfolk Southern CEO Jim Squires will retire on May 1, 2022, and EVP and Chief Marketing Officer Alan Shaw will take the helm, the company announced Thursday.
“This is the right moment for a leadership transition,” said Squires. “The company is in rock-solid position, I’ve accomplished what I set out to achieve, and our board of directors has identified the right leader in Alan Shaw to guide Norfolk Southern in its next chapter of success and value creation.”
Said Steven F. Leer, NS’ lead independent director, “Jim is retiring at the top of his game. Thanks to Jim’s leadership, Norfolk Southern has a strong foundation for continued success. During his tenure he has increased shareholder value by more than $30 billion, implemented precision scheduled railroading, led the company through a freight recession and global pandemic, and brought company leadership together in a new, state-of-the-art Atlanta headquarters.”
As part of the transition process, NS’ (NYSE: NSC) board of directors elected Shaw as president, effective immediately. Squires and Shaw will work together over the next five months to ensure a smooth transition, the company said.
Shaw has 27 years of experience working in marketing, operations and finance at NS. In May 2015, he was appointed chief marketing officer and has been responsible for overseeing NS’ intermodal franchise and the company’s forays into technology, sustainability and new product offerings.
“Alan has a unique combination of skills and experience that prepares him to lead the company,” Squires said. “He’s a veteran railroader who understands operations and will drive continued improvement in service and efficiency. At the same time, he has an unparalleled understanding of our customers and the markets we serve, as well as the vision to grow shareholder value in our competitive, rapidly evolving industry.”
Said Shaw, “I look forward to working with Jim, our board of directors and the entire team at Norfolk Southern to provide superior service to our customers, create compelling value for shareholders, and build on the momentum of our improving operating ratio.”
NS names new chief marketing officer, group vice presidents
With Shaw transitioning to his new role, Ed Elkins, vice president of industrial products, will take over as chief marketing officer.
Elkins started his career at NS as a locomotive engineer in 1988 before transitioning to group vice president for chemicals and group vice president for international intermodal. Elkins has held his most recent position since 2018.
“Ed is an experienced, innovative and trusted leader who will step seamlessly into the role of CMO and be a strong addition to the executive leadership team,” Squires said.
Succeeding Elkins will be James “Leggett” Kitchin, who is currently group vice president of domestic intermodal marketing and sales.
Both of these appointments are effective immediately.
Meanwhile, Shawn Tureman, vice president of industrial products/chemicals, will become vice president of intermodal and automotive. Jeff Heller, who is currently vice president of intermodal and automotive, is retiring from the company on March 1, 2022, after serving a 27-year career.