The appointment comes in anticipation of Benz's retirement in the first quarter of 2013. Over the remainder of 2012, Brown will become familiar with GWI's diverse operations, including those in Australia and the two will be working closely to ensure a smooth transition at the end of Benz's tenure. Following the transition, Brown will be responsible for GWI's 10 operating regions in North America, Australia and Europe.
From 2010 to early 2012, Brown was executive vice president and COO of CSX Transportation. He was chief transportation officer for CSX from 2006 to 2010 and prior to that, served 25 years with Norfolk Southern in roles ranging from strategic planning to the integration of the Conrail acquisition.
In 1987, Benz founded Rail Link Inc., which was acquired by GWI in 1996. Over nine years, he built Rail Link into GWI's largest operating region. In 2005, Benz was appointed COO of GWI.
"Both Jim and David have extraordinary track records of success in railroad operations and we will benefit from a long overlap in the transition to Jim's retirement," said Jack Hellmann, president and CEO. "We are grateful for what Jim has helped GWI become over the past 16 years and we look forward to David building on that success in the years ahead."