Kansas City Southern’s Board of Directors has elected Michael R. Haverty (left), current chairman and chief executive officer of the Class I railroad, to executive chairman, effective Aug. 1. As well, David L. Starling, current KCS president and chief operating officer, will become president and CEO, also effective August 1.
KCS said Haverty will continue to concentrate on the strategic direction of the company and oversee long-term business decisions. Starling will report to Haverty and focus on execution of the company’s long-range plan, with responsibility for oversight and management of all facets of the company’s operations, as well as those of its subsidiaries and affiliates.
“When Dave Starling assumed the position of president and director general of PCRC (Panama Canal Railway Company, a KCS affiliate) in June 1999, he began a reporting relationship to me as co-chairman of PCRC,” said Haverty. “In July 2007, we engaged him as executive representative of KCS, in addition to his position at PCRC, so that he could work with ocean carrierscalling on the Port of Lazaro Cardenas in Mexico, as well as the Port of Balboa in Panama. This gave Dave exposure to our intermodal network in Mexico.”
Haverty added, “Dave came to Kansas City in July 2008 as president and chief operating officer of KCS with the thought in mind that he could succeed me as CEO. After two years, we are ready. David is a great team leader, and I truly believe we have the best management team, both north and south of the border, that we have had in the 15 years I have been associated with KCS.”
Starling’ career, which began in 1971, includes stints with the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad (the Frisco) and successor Burlington Northern, Mi-Jack Products, and American President Lines.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to become CEO of KCS at a time that many positive things are happening with the company,” said Starling in a statement. “The past two years have been challenging, but also fulfilling as we weathered a deeprecession and are coming out of it even stronger. The Kansas City Southern Railway Company and Kansas City Southern de Mexico are working closer together than ever and our cross-border business now accounts for a quarter of KCS’ total revenue.”