Knorr Brake Company LLC (KBC) has appointed Jason Connell as President and CEO, effective Jan. 6, 2020. Connell will succeed current president Richard Bowie, who remains with the organization as Vice President – Marketing, Sales and Systems.
A 27-year rail industry vet, Connell has worked for nearly a decade for New York Air Brake LLC, a sister company within the Knorr-Bremse Group. Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President – Sales, Marketing and Service. He began his career at Wabtec, progressing through the organization with key roles in field service, sales, marketing and corporate development.
Connell, who has earned 12 patents, holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and history from Purdue University and an MBA in operations research, marketing and strategy from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a current member of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Associate Advisory Board and also serves as Vice Chair of the Railway Supply Institute Board.
Bowie joined KBC in 1995 and has served as president since 2007, overseeing expansion of the company’s technology footprint, product portfolio and revenue base. During his tenure at KBC, he has served in progressive roles, including Director – Program Management; Engineering Director; and President of KBC subsidiary Merak North America LLC.
“Jason combines long experience in the rail sector with an approach that puts the customer front and center, providing a perspective that aligns with Knorr Brake Company’s business requirements,” said Michael J. Hawthorne, Chairman, Knorr Brake Company. “He has been instrumental in driving growth through M&A and product portfolio diversity. He’ll be a valuable addition to this focused, disciplined and vision-driven organization, and an ideal fit for KBC’s team of talented and passionate employees. Jason’s performance-driven outlook will help advance the company’s growth strategy as it continues building its legacy of achievement. I want to thank Rich for his decade of leadership at KBC. We look forward to his continued contributions as a member of this strong leadership team.”
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be joining this storied rail-industry leader,” Connell said. “Knorr Brake Company has earned its reputation through accomplishments spanning more than a century, and I am humbled to be called on to join the extraordinary team there. I look forward to helping this great company continue its growth.”