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Charles "Wick" Moorman will step down as executive chairman of Norfolk Southern Corp.'s board effective Oct. 1. On that same day, NS President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Squires will become chairman, the company announced yesterday.Moorman will continue serving as a director until he retires from the board on Dec. 31. He also will serve as a senior adviser to Squires from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, when he will retire as an NS employee. The announcement is part of a planned succession process. Squires expressed gratitude for Moorman's leadership over the years."Thanks in great part to him, Norfolk Southern and the railroad industry are far more modern in our thinking, more technologically advanced in our operations, and more thoughtful in managing our footprint for our business partners and those we serve," Squires said in a press release.NS also announced yesterday that Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Manion intends to retire Feb. 1, 2016, and will be succeeded by Michael Wheeler, who has served as vice president engineering since 2012.Squires praised Manion's contributions to NS by noting that his "ideas and initiatives have impacted every NS employee and every NS customer."As COO, Manion promoted improvements in the Class I's ability to capture, synthesize and report metrics that reflect the network's timeliness and reliability. He supported research and implementation of "groundbreaking" initiatives such as the Unified Train Control System and Movement Planner to reduce traffic congestion, LEADER technology to boost fuel efficiency, and locomotive rebuilds to reduce operating costs, NS officials said.Manion joined NS in 1975 as a management trainee. He served in a range of operations positions before 2004, when he was named executive vice president operations with responsibility for transportation, mechanical, engineering, safety and environmental, and other employees who together represent the majority of NS' workforce.Before assuming the COO duties, Wheeler will serve as senior vice president operations from Oct. 1 through Jan. 31, 2016. NS' transportation, mechanical, and engineering groups will report to him, while the safety and environmental, police, and network and service management groups will continue to report to Manion.Wheeler, who has served as vice president engineering since 2012, joined NS in 1985 as a research engineer. He served in positions of increasing responsibility in the corporation's mechanical and transportation areas. In 2009, he was named vice president transportation.Squires also announced yesterday that Cindy Earhart's title will become executive vice president administration and chief information officer on Oct. 1 to reflect her new responsibility for NS' information technology department. Earhart assumes the IT responsibility following the Oct. 1 retirement of Deborah Butler.Wheeler and Earhart "have the experience and expertise to build on Norfolk Southern's culture of excellence," Squires said. "As part of our senior leadership team, they have earned the highest levels of trust and respect from those who depend on us for the reliable, efficient, and safe delivery of the freight that makes the economy move," Squires added.
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