QR National appoints global railway executives
QR National has secured the appointments of two globally-significant executives from leading North American railways to the Company’s senior management team.
Mr Mike Franczak has been appointed to the role of Executive Vice President Operations and Mr Alex Kummant as Executive Vice President Strategy, with both roles reporting to Managing Director & CEO Lance Hockridge.
“After a comprehensive global search, we are delighted to announce the appointment of executives of the calibre of Mike and Alex to the QR National senior management team,” said Lance Hockridge.
“Mike and Alex have extensive global experience in high-performing North American railroads and major industrial enterprises, which will bring new capability and perspective to the Company as we enter our next period of growth.
“These appointments also underscore our determination to put in place outstanding management capability to execute on the changes required for the Company, now and into the future.”
Mr Franczak has had a 25 year career with Canada's second largest railroad Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway Ltd, most recently in the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer.
He was responsible for all aspects of Canadian Pacific’s rail operations over its 23,650 kilometres of track, including network and production management, field operations, engineering, mechanical, service design, asset management, intermodal operations, safety and regulatory affairs.
He was a Board Member of the Railway Association of Canada and also a Member of the Safety and Operations Management Committee of the American Association of Railroads. Prior to joining Canadian Pacific, Mr Franczak worked as a geologist for several companies in the Canadian mining exploration industry.
Mr Hockridge said, “Mike has a proven track record leading Operations at one of the world’s largest railroads.
“His experience in transportation of bulk commodities such as coal will be invaluable to our customers and development of industry in our markets.
“Mike’s expertise will be essential as we continue to transform QR National’s operations and bring the Company’s operating metrics in line with the North American Class 1 Railways.”
Mr Kummant has more than 25 years’ experience in the North American industrial sector, including senior roles with US railways. He was Chief Executive Officer at passenger business Amtrak and Vice President in several roles at Union Pacific, the world’s largest freight railroad.
Mr Kummant will lead the newly-created Strategy function, which has been split from the formerly combined Strategy and Business Development function led by Ken Lewsey.
"There are a number of long-term opportunities for our company on the horizon and a dedicated strategy function with increased focus and capability will be essential to help us grasp these opportunities and plan for the future. Alex will bring to bear his extensive global experience in the design and development of QR National’s enterprise strategy,” Mr Hockridge said.
"Similarly the Business Development role has grown significantly in the past twelve months with the impact of current major projects as well as a number of exciting business development opportunities around the country. We recognise the increased size and scope of the Business Development function, and Ken will be responsible for driving projects which are critical to the future growth of the Company.”
Mr Franczak will commence with QR National in January 2013, while Mr Kummant’s appointment was effective October 2012.
Following these appointments, the Company will have nine major functions (Commercial & Marketing; Operations; Network; Strategy; Business Development; Business Sustainability; Enterprise Services; Finance and Human Resources).
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Recent career summaries (further details follow):
- Canadian Pacific Railway (1987 to 2012):
- Executive Vice President Operations (2011 to 2012)
- Senior Vice President Operations (2010 – 2011)
- Group Vice President Operations (2009 – 2010)
- Vice President Operations (2008 – 2009)
- Vice President Transportation (2005 – 2009)
- General Manager Field Operations Western Canada (2002 – 2005)
- General Manager Interline (2000 – 2002)
- General Manager Operations, Eastern Business Unit (1996 – 2000)
- Senior Vice President, Oklahoma Operations / Senior Vice President, Strategy, Spirit AeroSystems (2010 – 2012)
- President & CEO, Amtrak (2006 – 2008)
- Interim Vice President and General Manager, Invensys (2006)
- Chief Marketing Officer, Komatsu America (2005)
- President, BOMAG (2004 – 2005)
- Regional Vice President, Central Region / Vice President Premium Operations /
- Vice President and General Manager Industrial Products, Union Pacific (1999 – 2003)
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