Norfolk Southern (NS) on Dec. 2 reported that Chairman and CEO Jim Squires will retire in May 2022; he will be succeeded by Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Alan H. Shaw, a 27-year NS veteran.
As part of NS’s planned succession process, the Board of Directors has elected Shaw, 54, to the role of President, effective immediately, according to the Class I railroad. NS’s executive leadership team now reports to Shaw.
Squires, 59, and Shaw will continue to work together over the next five months “to complete a smooth transition,” the railroad said.
Ed Elkins, Vice President of Industrial Products, will take over as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, and James “Leggett” Kitchin, currently Group Vice President of Domestic Intermodal Marketing and Sales, will succeed Elkins. These appointments are also effective immediately.
NS also reported that Jeff Heller, Vice President of Intermodal and Automotive, will retire on March 1, 2022, after 27 years of service. Shawn Tureman, currently Group Vice President of Industrial Products/Chemicals, becomes Group Vice President of Intermodal and Automotive effective immediately, and will succeed Heller as Vice President upon his retirement.
“Jim is retiring at the top of his game,” said Steven F. Leer, NS’s lead independent director. “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.”
“This is the right moment for a leadership transition,” Squires said. “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.
“Alan has a unique combination of skills and experience that prepare him to lead the company. 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.”
Shaw, with experience in marketing, operations and finance, began his NS career as Cost Systems Analyst and Manager in 1994. He rose through the ranks and was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer in May 2015. Shaw has been responsible for innovations in customer-facing technology, sustainability, and new product offerings.
“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,” Shaw said.
Squires joined Norfolk Southern in 1992 and served in several law positions before being named Vice President Law in 2003, Senior Vice President Law in 2004, Senior Vice President Financial Planning in 2006, Executive Vice President Finance in 2007, Executive Vice President Administration in 2012, President in 2013, and Chairman and CEO in 2015. A native of Hollis, N.H., Squires is a graduate of Amherst College, where he received a bachelor of arts in Ancient Greek in 1983. After graduation, he spent a year as Amherst-Doshisha Fellow at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. He then served in the U.S. Army from 1985 to 1989. In 1992, he received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where he has served as a member of the Visiting Committee.