Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP) today provided an update on the status and timing of the Board of Director’s active leadership succession planning process.
Since assuming the CEO role in February 2015, Lance Fritz has overseen a period of growth, innovation and value creation, and transformed the Company’s operating plan to improve asset efficiency. Under his leadership, since 2017, the Company has achieved a 52% increase in net income, a 27% increase in operating income and a 3.7 point increase in return on invested capital. Mr. Fritz guided the Company to achieve this financial growth despite the volatile operating environment spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, global supply chain disruption, labor negotiations and service and labor challenges, while instilling an inclusive and accountable organization with an industry-leading sustainability program.
Following discussions between the Board and Mr. Fritz regarding the path for identifying Union Pacific’s next CEO, in March 2022 the Board engaged a leading outside consultant and subsequently formed a task force of directors composed of each of the Board committee chairs in November 2022. The Board is seeking a CEO with a strong track record of success and expertise across safety, operational excellence, enhancing and driving customer service, innovation, employee culture and sustainability. The Board is focusing the process on highly-qualified candidates both within the industry and adjacent industries to identify a CEO capable of leading the Company for a long-term tenure. The Board expects to name a successor who will assume the position in 2023.
“The Board is grateful to Lance for his unwavering leadership, dedication and oversight in driving our Company forward over the last eight years as CEO. Lance created an environment that has allowed Union Pacific to make a measurable impact with our customers, communities and employees alike,” said Michael McCarthy, Lead Independent Director of the Board. “He has capably led our company during a time of significant challenge and change, positioning Union Pacific to deliver long-term sustainable value for shareholders and customers. We are immensely grateful to have Lance’s continuing leadership and support and know he will ensure a smooth transition.”
“It is my honor and privilege to serve this great company. I am proud of our team and all we have built together,” said Lance Fritz, Union Pacific Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “I’ve always said that our fundamentals for long-term success are powered by our people – our best-in-class employees and the passion they have for our customers and communities. Union Pacific has embarked on a transformative journey that will result in stronger, more consistent service for our customers, with enhanced earnings growth and value creation for our shareholders. Union Pacific has been my home for 22 years and I am confident that now is the right time for Union Pacific’s next leader to take the helm. I look forward to working with the Board as we identify our next CEO to lead the Company into the future.”
As part of the Board’s succession planning process, it has considered shareholder input and will continue to do so. The Board has been actively engaging with Soroban Capital Partners (“Soroban”) since 2017. In recent conversations, Soroban indicated it intended to move discussions to a public level. The Board decided it is in the best interests of all shareholders to provide a public update on its ongoing succession process and expected timing.
ABOUT UNION PACIFIC
Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) delivers the goods families and businesses use every day with safe, reliable and efficient service. Operating in 23 western states, the company connects its customers and communities to the global economy. Trains are the most environmentally responsible way to move freight, helping Union Pacific protect future generations. More information about Union Pacific is available at www.up.com.