Tennison named UP Chief Strategy Officer

Written by William Vantuono, editor-in-chief, Railway Age
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Lynden Tennison

Union Pacific on July 26 appointed 26-year veteran Lynden Tennison Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, effective Aug. 1. Tennison has been Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer since February 2005.

“In his new role, Tennison will be responsible for developing, implementing and overseeing Union Pacific’s strategic agenda,” UP said in announcing his appointment. “This includes facilitating strategy design and overseeing the execution of key initiatives supporting the strategy*.”

As SVP and CIO, Tennison “was responsible for managing the development, implementation and operation of Union Pacific Railroad’s information and telecommunications technologies,” UP said. “He served in a variety of leadership roles including responsibility for the application systems and architectures for the entire company.”

From 1998 through 2001, Tennison was President and CEO of UP technology subsidiary Nexterna. Prior to joining UP in 1992, he worked at American Airlines’ SABRE division, AT&T and Southwestern Bell Telephone. Tennison, who has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, is a current and/or past member of the board of directors for several large companies.

UP said it will search for a replacement from both inside and outside the company. Until Tennison’s successor is named, he will continue as Interim CIO.

“Lynden brings tremendous technology and innovation expertise to a role that is critical to the company,” said Union Pacific Chairman, President and CEO Lance Fritz. “He will provide the necessary mix of tech savvy and business acumen to lead our strategy development and execution, creating long-term value for all of our stakeholders.”

Concurrent with Tennison’s promotion, UP made appointments within its information technology organization, naming Rick Holmes Assistant Vice President Information Assurance, Alan Fisher AVP Commercial Technology, and Brett Frankenberger AVP Systems Engineering, all effective Aug. 1.

Holmes will be responsible for the company’s information security practice, serving as chief information security officer. He joined UP in 1986 and most recently served as AVP Commercial Technology.

Fisher will be responsible for developing UP’s commercial technology systems as well as commercial technology subsidiaries. Fisher joined UP in 2000 and most recently served as AVP Systems Engineering.

Frankenberger will be responsible for UP’s day-to-day technology infrastructure architecture. He joined UP in 1990 and most recently served as Senior Director Data Center Engineering.

* Editor’s Note: “Strategy” is defined as “a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.” It originally had a mostly military connotation: “The art of planning and directing overall military operations and movements in a war or battle; the art of war.” Union Pacific did not offer specifics on its “strategic agenda”; however, one could reasonably ascertain that such an agenda could encompass such areas as business development, capital investment programs, technology initiatives, legislative matters, public outreach, safety, and mergers and acquisitions. In its 2017 “Building America report to communities on our social, environmental and economic sustainability progress,” UP’s mission statement says, in part, that the company “works for the good of our customers, shareholders, communities and one another … Union Pacific’s mission of service defines us and drives our commitment to safely transport products across the country, provide good jobs, operate ethically and invest in our communities.”

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