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KCS shuffles leadership to carry out PSR strategy


Kansas City Southern yesterday announced several organizational changes designed to support the Class I's ongoing precision scheduled railroading (PSR) strategy and provide development opportunities for several KCS leaders.

Mike Walczak, currently vice president of mechanical operations, will move to a newly created role in finance, reporting to Executive VP and Chief Financial Officer Michael Upchurch. In his new role, Walczak will lead service design, car management, fuel management, treasury and tax. He will work with EVP of PSR Sameh Fahmy to continue carrying out the company's PSR strategy, KCS officials said in a press release.

Darin Selby, VP of intermodal and automotive operations, will assume responsibility for mechanical operations. Selby has extensive leadership experience in sales, marketing and operations, and will lead KCS' mechanical organization as it continues to right-size equipment fleet, increase staff productivity, minimize failures and train delays and invest in new technologies to improve the reliability of company assets, company officials said.

Olivia Daily, assistant VP of service design, will become VP of purchasing. She will succeed Bill Blaise, who will retire Sept. 1. Blaise, who has been with KCS since 2007, will assist in the transition of the purchasing organization.

"Kansas City Southern is focused on providing consistent and reliable service, building a more resilient and dependable network, facilitating industry-leading growth, and continuing to improve asset utilization and our cost structure," said President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Ottensmeyer. "These organizational changes will help us build on the significant train and crew efficiency gains made during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Two of the KCS leaders whose positions are changing have been designated "Rising Stars" in the railroad industry by Progressive Railroading. Selby received the Rising Stars Award in 2016, while Daily will receive the 2020 award later this month.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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