UPDATE: BNSF railroad shuffles top execs but keeps RoseDecember 11, 2013
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The CEO who led BNSF railroad as it was sold to Warren Buffett's company is moving into the chairman's role, and another executive will be promoted to lead the company.
The Fort Worth-based railroad announced the executive changes Wednesday.
BNSF's Chairman and CEO Matt Rose will become executive chairman in January. Chief Operating Officer Carl Ice will be promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer.
The railroad said Rose will focus on long-term strategic planning while Ice focuses on day-to-day operations.
Ice has been with BNSF for 34 years, most recently serving as president since November 2010. In 1995, he led a team that orchestrated the merger and subsequent integration of Burlington Northern Railroad and Santa Fe Railway. Since then, he has helped lead the company and culture into what it is today. Ice has been integral to the development of the company’s operating and marketing plans.
“For over a decade, Carl has worked alongside me, and his assumption of the CEO title is a natural and well-deserved transition,” said Rose in a news release. “I am pleased for him and the organization, and the continuity he represents as he undertakes the leadership of this role.”
Buffett, who is Berkshire Hathaway's chairman and CEO, praised Rose and Ice and said BNSF has exceeded his expectations since Berkshire bought the railroad in 2010.
Some Berkshire investors have speculated that Rose may be a candidate to eventually succeed the 83-year-old Buffett as CEO. - Additional reporting by Robert Francis, Fort Worth Business Press