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.
11 thoughts on “Norfolk Southern Chief Operating Officer Cindy Sanborn to retire at end of year”
Maybe this signals the shine is fading on the PSR apple?
There’s an article about her in today’s Wall Street Journal. Always good when WSJ wakes up to discover that freight ttrains exist.
I’ll wait and see before passing judgment. When Shaw came on board, he spent a lot of time in the field talking and listening to operating people. This change might just be as a result of those conversations. I don’t think Sanborn’s “retirement” is entirely voluntary. New CEO’s usually wait about 6 months before shaking things up. Also 6 weeks is pretty short notice for a top exec.
Cindy’s retirement is voluntary. She wants to enjoy life on her own terms. I wish her well.
right, NOT, a lot of jobs in a short time, example of corporations meeting quotas, strictly a diversity hiring that did not end with good results
Good luck with that choice, Mr. Shaw.
“Paul is also the right leader to continue our progress engaging our craft railroaders and field supervisors.” Mr. Shaw, missing from the comment are your T&E employees. Working with UAW members and “craft railroaders” is one thing. They typically have a set work schedule. T&E, not so much. My recent conversations with T&E employees in Northern Georgia confirm there is wide gulf between T&E and folks like Paul Duncan.
BTW, wasn’t Cindy the architect of a 26 hour operating day at CSX?
Yeah, how did that 26-hour day work out? Different schedule every day. PSR before there was PSR. Precisely Stupid Railroading.
Quote”played a central role in the company’s service recovery effort” DHHHHHHH
Apples and Oranges comparison BNSF (Private ownership) with NS (Wall Street).
Those “reins” are much tighter on NS when compared to the flexibility under the BNSF operations model.
“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…..”
PSR is at absolute odds with a customer-centric mindset, productivity and growth. This statement is a touch-all-the-bases, corporate-speak piece of meaningless nonsense.
Well said, Mr. House.