Brian A. Kenney will retire as GATX Corp. President and CEO on April 22, 2022, the company reported on Dec. 7. The Board of Directors has elected 24-year GATX veteran Robert C. Lyons to succeed him as CEO.
Kenney will continue to serve on the GATX Board as Non-Executive Chairman until Oct. 31, 2022 to “ensure a seamless transition,” the Chicago-based railcar lessor said. At that time, the Board will appoint an Independent Director to the Chairman role.
Lyons is currently Executive Vice President and President, Rail North America, a position he took on in 2018, following six years of service as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He joined GATX in 1997 and rose through the Treasury and Investor Relations departments before being elected Vice President, Investor Relations in 2002. Lyons was promoted to Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2004 and to Senior Vice President and CFO in 2007. He will be nominated for election to the Board at the 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, according to GATX.
“GATX is in a strong position today, and Brian has provided outstanding leadership to set the company up for continued success,” GATX Lead Board Director James Ream. “He has thoughtfully expanded the portfolio of assets, both organically and through strategic acquisitions, enabling GATX to consistently generate industry-leading financial returns. Brian instituted a continuous improvement mindset throughout the company, setting the industry standard for safety, quality and customer service. He has also championed expanding opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds within GATX’s worldwide operations. Thanks to Brian’s leadership and vision, GATX has the finest team in the business and is recognized as the global leader in the full-service leasing of long-lived assets. The board is grateful for Brian’s relentless focus on the needs of all GATX stakeholders, and we are pleased for his continued leadership through this transition process.
“With the strong foundation established by Brian, the Board is highly confident that Bob is the right leader to be GATX’s next CEO. The Board ran a deliberate and thoughtful succession process with the assistance of Spencer Stuart, a leading global executive search and leadership consulting firm. Bob was selected for his strong business acumen, operational skills and vision needed to guide GATX to its next stage of growth and excellence. Bob has been intimately involved in shaping the company’s strategy and has been a significant contributor to GATX’s success as both the head of our largest business as well as our CFO for more than a decade. He deeply understands this company and the importance of maintaining a disciplined, transparent and inclusive strategy for the benefit of all stakeholders, and he is well equipped to preserve and build on GATX’s proud legacy.”
“It has been a privilege to serve as CEO for the past 17 years and to work with the most dedicated team in the industry,” Kenney said. “I am proud of all that we have accomplished together, and I look forward to collaborating with Bob and our Board of Directors to help GATX achieve even higher levels of success. Bob has been a close partner to me, and his leadership, experience and vision will be critical in driving GATX forward as the premier global, full-service lessor.”
Kenney joined GATX in 1995 as Treasurer. He was promoted to Vice President-Finance in 1998; to Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 1999; Senior Vice President in 2002; and to President in 2004. Kenney was elected CEO in April 2005 and Chairman of the Board in October 2005.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead GATX,” Lyons said. “Together with the GATX leadership team and all our colleagues, I will build on the strong foundation and strategy that Brian established and ensure we continue to provide innovative, unparalleled service to our customers.”