People News: FreightCar America, UP

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
Nicholas J. Randall, COO, FreightCar America (left); and Rahul Jalali, Executive Vice President, UP (right).

Nicholas J. Randall, COO, FreightCar America (left); and Rahul Jalali, Executive Vice President, UP (right).

FreightCar America, Inc. (FreightCar America) appoints Nicholas J. Randall as Chief Operating Officer. Also, Union Pacific (UP) promotes Chief Information Officer Rahul Jalali to Executive Vice President.

FreightCar America on May 18 announced the appointment of Nicholas J. Randall to COO, effective June 26. He will report to President and CEO James R. Meyer.

Randall has more than 20 years of global experience working in, and leading, engineering and manufacturing operations at world class companies. He currently leads a division of aerospace company Precision Castparts Corporation (PCC), part of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and previously held senior positions at Alcoa and Jaguar & Land Rover Vehicles.

Randall holds a Bachelor of Engineering, Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Liverpool John Moores University, U.K.

“I am thrilled to welcome Nick to the FreightCar America team as our Chief Operating Officer,” said Meyer. “He is an accomplished business leader with deep and global experience in the heavy durable industrial and consumer industries. He brings a proven track record of growing companies by driving success through operational excellence and customer satisfaction. He is a results-driven executive and the perfect addition to the team as we continue to grow and prepare for the next steps of our Company’s future.”

 “I am extremely pleased to join the FreightCar America team at this very exciting time,” added Randall. “The Company has accomplished an extraordinary transformation and is now positioning itself for growth. I look forward to the opportunity to further differentiate FreightCar America’s position as the preferred, best-in-class railcar manufacturer and in helping the Company grow.”

UP announced May 18 that Chief Information Officer Rahul Jalali has been named Executive Vice President, effective June 1.

According to UP, Jalali has played a “pivotal role in the company’s modernization efforts and will continue leading the development, implementation and operation of UP’s information and telecommunications technologies, delivering high-tech solutions for the railroad and its customers.” He most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, having joined UP in 2020.

Under Jalali’s leadership, UP says its Tech team has “driven innovative technologies to optimize customer supply chains, enhance efficiency and improve the company’s overall service product.” He has focused on transforming UP into a platform company, creating a high-performing culture through recruitment, diversity and inclusion, the Class I said.

Jalali recently earned a spot on Forbes CIO Next List, highlighting 50 technology leaders who are redefining the CIO role and advancing game-changing innovation. He also was named one of Railway Age’s 2022 Readers’ Influential Leaders, nominated by subscribers as one of the industry’s top 10 influential individuals. Additionally, in 2023 Jalali was appointed by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to its Cybersecurity Advisory Committee (CSAC).

Before joining UP, Jalali spent 23 years with retail leader Walmart Inc. in increasing leadership roles, including Corporate Vice President in the technology division.

“Rahul is an innovative, customer-focused leader who has guided our team in developing technology solutions that are focused on providing safe, efficient, and secure service,” said Chairman, President and CEO Lance Fritz. “Under his leadership, I look forward to continuing to enhance how we support our employees and serve our customers through industry-leading, secure, technological advancements.”

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