For UP, more changes at the top

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Left to right: Beth Whited, Tom Lischer and Kenny Rocker. Union Pacific photos.

Union Pacific on Aug. 15 said it is “shifting its network planning and operations function to better align with its strategic vision” and has made four executive management appointments, as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Cameron Scott relinquishes his post and moves toward a Feb 28, 2019 retirement. (He will serve as a vice president until then.)

Beth Whited is now Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. Tom Lischer is EVP Operations. Kenny Rocker is EVP Marketing and Sales. David Giandinoto is Vice President, Harriman Dispatching Center and Network Operations. Kari Kirchhoefer is Vice President Industrial.

Whited, who succeeds Sherrye Hutcherson, is responsible for Human Resources and Labor Relations. She has served as EVP and Chief Marketing Officer since November 2016. She previously led UP’s Chemicals business for four years, served as VP National Customer Service Center and held a variety of executive roles in Strategic Planning, Investor Relations, Finance and Marketing and Sales, including President of Union Pacific Distribution Services. Whited joined UP in 1987.

Lischer, who succeeds Cameron Scott, is in charge of all transportation services including managing and maintaining locomotives, cars, tracks, train dispatching and crew calling; as well as Mechanical and Engineering functions. He had led UP’s centralized train dispatching organization since April 2017. Lischer has held many leadership roles within the Operating department including Assistant Vice President Locomotive Distribution and Network Operations, and positions in all three UP Operating regions. He joined the company in 1995.

Rocker, who succeeds Whited, is responsible for UP’s four main business units: Agriculture, Energy, Industrial and Premium, including Mexico business, which generated approximately 11% of the railroad’s total 2017 volume. He also oversees the company’s Customer Care and Support team and the Loup Logistics subsidiary. Rocker had served as VP and General Manager of UP’s Industrial business since August 2016. He held various positions during his railroad career including assignments in Automotive, the Market Development and Sales Center, and Chemicals. Rocker joined UP in 1994.

Giandinoto, who succeeds Lischer, leads UP’s centralized train dispatching organization. He joined the railroad in 1994 and most recently served as AVP Locomotive Distribution and Network Operations. Giandinoto has held leadership roles in the Operating as well as Marketing and Sales departments, including AVP Northern Region operations, General Superintendent at Proviso Yard in Chicago and General Manager of Union Pacific Distribution Services.

Kirchhoefer, who succeeds Rocker, is responsible for construction, lumber and paper products, metals and ores, specialized markets, minerals, industrial chemicals, plastics and soda ash customers. She most recently served as VP Customer Care and Support, and has held numerous leadership positions during her 26-year UP career, including VP and GM Chemicals, President of the company’s Streamline subsidiary, and Agricultural Products and Market Development and Sales Center roles.

Cameron Scott, who joined UP in 1990, had been EVP and COO since February 2014. For the previous two years, he was VP Network Planning and Operations, where he was responsible for service design and evaluation, transportation planning, network and capital planning, network development and joint facilities activities. He served as VP Operations for UP’s Western Region prior to that.

“I want to offer my sincere thanks to Cameron and Sherrye for their hard work and dedication to Union Pacific,” Chairman, President and CEO Lance Fritz said. “Cameron has been a true champion of employee safety, and the company has made great strides because of it, leading the industry each of the past three years. I also wish to convey my appreciation to Sherrye for the commitment and effort she gave during her time at UP.”

UP Network Planning and Operations (NPO) now reports to EVP and Chief Strategy Officer Lynden Tennison, as such shifting away from the railroad’s Operating department.

“The NPO team plays a key role in Union Pacific’s business planning and management processes,” Fritz said. “This shift creates greater opportunities to coordinate among Operating, Marketing and Sales and Finance to align and modify our transportation plan with technology as we continue to develop new and innovative ways to serve our customers.”

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