Railcar builder Greenbrier reshapes leadership roles

Written by Stuart Chirls, Senior Editor
Greenbrier railcar assembly Portland

Refrigerated boxcars are shown being assembled at Greenbrier's Portland, Ore. facility, July 2017. Railway Age photo by Stuart Chirls

The Greenbrier Companies, with an eye on the future. announced new corporate officer assignments and promotions.

The Portland, Ore.-based railcar builder said that the moves are intended to strengthen the leadership of its Global Manufacturing Organization (GMO) and Commercial units.

Owen Whitehall has been promoted to Executive Vice President, GMO North American Operations and Global Sourcing, reporting to Alejandro Centurion, President, GMO.

Martin Graham assumes the expanded role of Executive Vice President, GMO International Operations and Global Engineering, also reporting to Centurion. Graham will continue to maintain oversight of all engineering and quality assurance functions company-wide and provide GMO support for activities in North America, Europe, the Gulf Cooperation Council region and Brazil.

Also promoted are Alejandro Arias to Vice President of Mexican Operations and Zane Peterson to Vice President of Global Sourcing, both reporting to Whitehall.

Oziel Salinas recently joined the company as General Manager of Greenbrier’s Gunderson-GIMSA joint venture, serving in Arias’ previous role and reporting to him.

Brian Comstock has been named Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, reporting to Mark Rittenbaum, Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial and Leasing Officer. As Greenbrier’s Chief Commercial Officer, Rittenbaum continues to have responsibility for global Leasing and Commercial functions in North America and Latin America. Working with Rittenbaum and regional executives, Comstock continues management of commercial sales and marketing activities and strategy for the Americas, supervising market activity in North America, Brazil and greater Latin America. Internationally, Comstock will work with Furman, Cowan and Centurion.

Greenbrier’s Board of Directors also appointed Comstock a corporate executive officer and he will join Greenbrier’s Executive Committee, comprised of key unit heads including Centurion, Rittenbaum, Rick Turner, Senior Vice President, Greenbrier Rail Services, and Jim Cowan. This committee is chaired by Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Lorie Tekorius and includes Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Martin Baker. The committee reports to Chairman, President and CEO Bill Furman.

This structure supports Greenbrier’s broad-based global growth strategy, anchored by Gunderson, its flagship manufacturing company in the United States, and supported by factories and technical centers in Mexico, Brazil, Poland and Romania, along with a growing presence in the Gulf Cooperation Council region.

“Today’s promotions advance two goals at Greenbrier,” said Furman. “We are preparing for the future by tapping our executive talent pool for greater contributions as part of our ongoing succession planning efforts. We are also sharpening the efficiency and responsiveness of our unified Global Manufacturing Organization to better serve our customers and our commercial colleagues at Greenbrier International.

“As a result of these changes, Greenbrier is better positioned to respond to a broader span of addressable markets where Greenbrier’s Commercial, Leasing, Manufacturing and Engineering teams are actively serving demand for global products and services.”

Furman concluded, “At Greenbrier we know the source of all value is our customers. By these actions, we are rededicating ourselves to this principle and building an organization focused on providing the best experience for our customers.”

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