Norfolk Southern announced yesterday that its board of directors has approved new responsibilities for Vanessa Allen Sutherland and Michael Farrell, effective Aug. 16:
- Michael Farrell is senior vice president operations and mechanical.
- Vanessa Allen Sutherland is senior vice president government relations and chief legal officer.
As senior vice president operations and mechanical, Farrell assumes responsibility for both transportation and mechanical functions.
“In this expanded role, Mike brings the energy and operational insights that have, in less than a year, transformed our transportation performance, and applies them to our mechanical functions,” said Mike Wheeler, executive vice president, and chief operating officer. “Mike’s determination and proven approach will extract the same efficiencies in fuel consumption, fleet management – and across our operations – that he and his teams have already realized in equipment utilization and train operations. Broadening his role from transportation to mechanical and beyond is a logical step in pursuit of our five core principles of serving customers, managing assets, controlling costs, working safely, and developing our employees at all levels of the company.”
As senior vice president government relations and chief legal officer, Allen Sutherland assumes responsibility for both government relations and law.
“Constructive, informed, and collaborative legal and regulatory environments are essential to Norfolk Southern’s success. Vanessa’s experience in corporate law – both at Norfolk Southern and elsewhere – enables her to protect and progress our positions across our business. Likewise, Vanessa’s understanding of government and community expectations and processes – honed during her tenure as the head of a federal agency – positions her to foster and deepen the dialogue that leads to innovation for the safety and prosperity of NS, our customers, and shareholders, and the communities we serve,” said James A. Squires, chairman, president and chief executive officer.
Squires continued, “Today’s actions strengthen the alignment between our organization and the goals of our strategic plan. These expanded roles underscore the board’s confidence in the direction set by Mike and Vanessa, and in their abilities to lead the company to greater success in the future.”
Farrell joined Norfolk Southern in 2018 as SVP transportation. He has led the company’s efforts to transform its service offering and field operations by building on a railroad career that comprises three decades of transformative operations experience at four Class I railroads. In his new position, Farrell reports to the chief operating officer.
Allen Sutherland joined Norfolk Southern in 2018 as vice president law. She was named senior vice president and chief legal officer in April 2019. Before Norfolk Southern, Allen Sutherland held various government and corporate legal positions, including CEO and chairperson of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board and chief counsel with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. In her new position, Allen Sutherland reports to the chief executive officer.
From a Norfolk Southern news release.
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