Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Jim Cowan joins Greenbrier as SVP Operations

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
Jim Cowan, The Greenbrier Companies Jim Cowan, The Greenbrier Companies
Railway supply veteran Jim Cowan has joined The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. as Senior Vice President, Operations, a newly created position. He will report to Chairman and CEO William A. Furman.

“Jim will utilize his broad experience in manufacturing and the rail industry to support Greenbrier’s operations across its integrated business model,” said Furman. “He will drive execution of our previously announced strategic initiatives to improve gross margins and liberate capital while increasing return on invested capital. Jim will lead focused activities directed to margin enhancement, with initial emphasis on the repair and parts businesses.”

Cowan is well known in the railcar industry through his many years of experience in senior leadership positions. Most recently, he worked for Amsted Rail supporting its activities in Brazil. Prior to that, he served as President and CEO American Railcar Industries, Inc. (ARI) where he worked approximately eight years. He was also a member of the board of directors for three ARI joint ventures, including Axis, an axle manufacturing business. Additionally, Cowan served on the board of Ohio Castings, LLC, a joint venture of ARI, Greenbrier, and Amsted Rail. Prior to entering the rail industry, he spent 26 years in various positions involving the engineering, construction, and manufacturing of steel and tubular products, among them President and COO of Maverick Tube Corp. and Vallourec & Mannesmann Star.

“The addition of a seasoned executive of Jim’s caliber to Greenbrier adds depth to our executive team,” said Furman. “His international business experience and operations expertise will benefit our entire organization. Jim’s abilities will help us reach our stated objectives to expand our gross margin, increase our return on invested capital, and improve our operational efficiencies, particularly in our repair and parts business. I am confident Jim’s contributions will quickly add to shareholder value, helping us to more fully recognize and capitalize on the abundant opportunities presented by the current railcar manufacturing and railcar maintenance cycles.”