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Kansas City Southern today announced that Mike Haverty will transition from executive chairman to non-executive chairman and become chairman of the board's executive committee, effective Sept. 30. He has served as executive chairman since August 2010.Haverty will remain on the board and David Starling will continue to serve as president and chief executive officer, as well as remain a board member.The transition furthers a long-term succession planning strategy, KCS officials said in a press release.This year marks the 50th anniversary of Haverty's start in the railroad industry as a switchman/brakeman in Atchison, Kan., "so the timing is appropriate to transition to non-executive chairman at the end of next month," he said."I advised the board yesterday that it was time to step away from being an executive of the company in what has been a well-executed succession plan," said Haverty. "We have a strong, experienced management team now."Haverty previously served as KCS' CEO from 1995 to 2010. Prior to that, he served stints as executive vice president of KCS and president of Santa Fe Railway. Haverty was named the recipient of Progressive Railroading's Railroad Innovator Award in 2011.