ATLANTA – Norfolk Southern Chief Operating Officer Cindy Sanborn will retire at the end of the year and will be succeeded by Paul Duncan, who is currently senior vice president of transportation and network operations.
“Cindy joined Norfolk Southern during the pandemic and helped us navigate a global supply chain disruption. She strengthened our culture, served as an effective ambassador with our outside stakeholders, and was part of a team effort that has achieved significant improvements in service,” Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw said in a statement today. “Cindy’s impact goes well beyond Norfolk Southern. As the first female chief operating officer of a Class I railroad in the United States, she has been a trailblazer and an inspiration to many in the industry.”
Sanborn previously served as chief operating officer at CSX Transportation, where she worked for 30 years, and vice president of network planning at Union Pacific. She was named NS chief operating officer on Sept. 1, 2020.
“I’m proud of the gains we’ve made in service, safety and culture over the last two and a half years,” Sanborn said in a statement. “As Norfolk Southern prepares to take the next step with our growth strategy, it’s the right time for our next generation of talented operations leaders to take the reins.”
Duncan joined NS in March 2022 as vice president of network planning and operations and was promoted in September to senior vice president. He previously was vice president of service design and performance for BNSF Railway.
“Paul is widely respected in the industry as one of the most talented leaders in the next generation of railroad operations executives. He combines a deep understanding of Precision Scheduled Railroading with a strong customer-centric mindset, and appreciates the need to balance service, productivity, and growth,” Shaw said. “Paul is also the right leader to continue our progress engaging our craft railroaders and field supervisors.”
Duncan led the implementation of Norfolk Southern’s TOP | SPG operating plan this year and played a central role in the company’s service recovery effort, the railroad said.