Presidents and CEOs of Union Pacific Railroad

Index For This Page

This page was last updated on April 6, 2018.

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Following is a list of past Presidents and Chief Executive Officers of Union Pacific Railroad.

The following men served as president of Union Pacific Railroad.

W. B. Ogden Sept. 1862 Oct. 1863
J. A. Dix Oct. 1863 Nov. 1866
Oliver Ames Nov. 1866 Mar. 1871
T. A. Scott Apr. 1871 Mar. 1872
Horace Clark Mar. 1872 June 1873
John Duff June 1873 Mar. 1874
Sidney Dillon Mar. 1874 June 1884
C. F. Adams, Jr. June 1884 Nov. 1890
Sidney Dillon Nov. 1890 Apr. 1892
S. H. H. Clark Apr. 1892 Dec. 1897
W. S. Pierce (Acting) Dec. 1897 Dec. 1897
Horace G. Burt Dec. 1897 Jan. 1904
E. H. Harriman Jan. 1904 Sept. 1909
R. S. Lovett Oct. 1909 Oct. 1911
A. L. Mohler Oct. 1911 July 1916
E. E. Calvin July 1916 July 1918
C. B. Seger July 1918 Jan. 1919
R. S. Lovett Feb. 1, 1919 Dec. 31, 1919
C. R. Gray Jan. 1, 1920 Oct. 1, 1937
W. M. Jeffers Oct. 1, 1937 Feb. 1, 1946
G. F. Ashby Feb. 1, 1946 Mar. 1,.1949
A. E. Stoddard Mar. 1, 1949 Jan. 1, 1965
E. H. Bailey Jan. 1, 1965 Oct. 1, 1971
J. C. Kenefick Oct. 1, 1971 Jan. 3, 1983
R. G. Flannery Jan. 3, 1983  

Silas H. H. Clark

April 1892 -- December 1897

On February 21, 1874, Jay Gould gained control of Union Pacific Railroad. He quickly promoted Silas H. H. Clark, his loyal lieutenant, to General Superintendent of Union Pacific.

April 1874
Silas H. H. Clark was promoted by Jay Gould to General Superintendent of Union Pacific Railroad. He started as General Freight Agent in 1867. (Klein, p. 311)

"During 1874 such a man emerged in the person of Silas H. H. Clark, who soon became Gould's western adjutant and close friend . A few months younger than Gould, Clark was a New Jersey farm boy who started in railroading at the bottom. He had worked his way up to conductor when his zeal caught the eye of Sidney Dillon, who in 1867 sent him to Omaha as freight agent for the Union Pacific. The move began Clark's long association with the railroad. In April 1874 he succeeded T. E. Sickels as general superintendent and commenced what proved a lifelong relationship with Gould. Along with their Alger-like climb from humble origins the two men shared a love of books, an appetite for work, and delicate health. Sensitive, alert, dedicated, shrewd, a tough infighter prone to bouts of insecurity about the loyalty of those above and below him, Clark served Gould well for eighteen years and earned for himself wealth and status in the process. A man of striking appearance, his deep-set, lustrous eyes could assume the haunted distance of a poet one moment and the fierce glare of a prophet the next. Beneath a prominent nose he wore a long, scraggly beard that obliterated not only his lower face but tie and collar as well. As superintendent Clark found himself in an awkward position. His formal orders came from Dillon, yet he also received a steady stream of instructions from Gould by private letter. Clark learned early which had priority. The dangers inherent in serving two masters was averted by the close rapport between Gould and Dillon. Their ability to administer the road's affairs through this triangular arrangement for nearly a decade reflects a close bond of friendship and trust among the three men. Clark also found himself in dual roles at a more subtle level. He was the servant of the Union Pacific and the trusted agent for Gould's interests in the West. So long as the two were compatible Clark could fill both comfortably, but the day would come when they clashed and forced him into making difficult choices. Once Jay took the measure of Clark's abilities, he relied heavily on him for information and advice." (The Life and Legend of Jay Gould, by Maury Klein, page 148)

early 1885
Charles Adams forced S. H. H. Clark to resign as Vice President and General Manager of Union Pacific. (Klein, p. 464)

March 1885
Jay Gould and S. H. H. Clark resign from Union Pacific board of directors. (Klein, p. 464)

In 1889 and 1891, Clark was first vice president and general manager of Missouri Pacific.

December 2, 1892
Jay Gould died, leaving Union Pacific effectively without leadership. Sidney Dillon had died in June and Bishop John Sharp (very much a part of the Union Pacific leadership and representative of the interests of Brigham Young and the Mormon Church) had died the previous December. S. H. H. Clark had taken over as president when Dillon died, but Clark was a Gould man and when Gould died, Clark lost his influence against the bankers and the government in the fight over repaying the floating debt and the government bonds. (Klein, pp. 645-652)

"Silas H. H. Clark, who had replaced Dillon as president, was the first operating man to hold that office; the rest had all been financial men. As Jay Gould's loyal lieutenant, Clark had put in more than twenty years with the Union Pacific and Missouri Pacific. At fifty-seven he was an able operating man but ill-suited by position or temperament to any larger role. Slow, deliberate, cautious to a fault, Clark had always been reluctant to act without the approval of his superiors. For years he had enjoyed poor health and was prone to retire to his couch when the pressures on him mounted. Periodically he threatened to quit and return to the presidency of the Missouri Pacific, only to be coaxed back by anxious directors who had no one else to replace him." (Union Pacific, Volume 2, 1894-1969, page 14)

Clark was named as one of five receivers for Union Pacific during its years of bankruptcy and receivership from 1893 to 1897.

In his passport application in July 1879, Clark stated that he had been born on May 8, 1856 in Morris County, New Jersey.

Clark was shown in the 1898 San Francisco city directory as the president of the Occidental and Orient Steamship Company, with his residence in Omaha.

In 1899, Clark was shown as living in St. Louis. Clark's wife was Anna M. Clark, shown as his widow in 1913, living in St. Louis.

Horace G. Burt

Horace Greeley Burt (Jan 13, 1849 -- May 19, 1913) was President of Union Pacific Railroad from 1898 until 1904. He was born in Terre Haute, Indiana. He began his Railway service in 1868 with Chicago and North Western Railway as a resident engineer from 1873 until 1881. He was Division superintendent from 1881 until 1887, Chief engineer from August 1887 until November 1888. He was General Manager of Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad from 1888 until 1896. He was general manager of Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad from July until October 1896. He was 3rd Vice president of Chicago and North Western Railway from 1896 until 1898. He traveled around the world from 1904 until 1905. He was receiver of Chicago Great Western Railway from January until September 1909. In 1911 he was chief engineer of commission of investigation smoke abatement and electrification of railway terminals. He died in Oak Park, Illinois and is buried in Highland Lawn Cemetery in Terre Haute.

(Read the Wikipedia article)

Horace G. Burt was born in January, 1849. He was graduated from high school at Terre Haute, Ind., in 1867, and from the University of Michigan in the class of 1873. He entered railway service, March, 1868, since which time he has consecutively been, up to the fall of 1869, rodman on surveys during construction of St. Louis, Vandalia & Terre Haute railway; from December, 1869, to winter of 1870 in charge of locating party and construction; Joy railways in Kansas; from the winter of 1870 to February, 1873 at the University of Michigan; for one month with the Milwaukee & Northern railroad; in March, 1873, accepted a position in engineering department of Chicago & North Western, where he remained nine years; was then for one year chief engineer of that road; from 1882 to November, 1888, was division superintendent of same road in charge of Northern Iowa and Iowa divisions; then until July, 1896, was general manager of the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley road at Omaha, Nebraska; from July to October, 1896, was general manager of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha at St. Paul; then to January, 1898, was third vice-president of Chicago & North Western in charge of freight traffic. He was elected president of the Union Pacific at Omaha in January, 1898, and held that office until January 1904. He was receiver of Chicago Great Western during most of 1909, until Mr. Felton was elected president. (Chicago Commerce, Vol. 9, No. 3, May 23, 1913, page 7)

The Cook County Death Index shows that Horace G. Burt was born on January 13, 1849, and died on May 19, 1913.

Robert S. Lovett

Robert Scott Lovett (June 22, 1860 – June 19, 1932)

(Read the Wikipedia article)

President of Union Pacific, October 1909 to October 1911

Robert S. Lovett began his career with the Southern Pacific on the T&L Lines. Eventually he went on to head the Union Pacific. The Southern Pacific and Union Pacific were split on April 1, 1913, and elected to retain his position as chairman of the Union Pacific's executive committee.

"His sister married an East & West agent, who got Lovett a job at Normanville, where the depot was an old box car. He followed his brother-in-law to the Houston depot where, in his spare time, he studied law on his own and later in the office of a local attorney. At twenty-three he passed the bar and was hired by the East & West, which in 1885 sent him to look after its interests in the small town of Nacogdoches. He excelled as a "cow coroner," handling suits over slain livestock and other damage claims. The railroad noticed how well he did with local juries and in 1886 brought him back to Houston." "In 1889 he moved to Dallas as assistant general attorney for Jay Gould's Texas & Pacific, but returned to Houston three years later to join the law firm that became Baker, Botts, Baker & Lovett, which handled the business of the Southern Pacific's Texas lines." Lovett first went to New York "to help with a Southern Pacific stock suit and stayed on reluctantly" at Harriman's request. "He was made counsel for the Union Pacific and then, after the death of W. D. Cornish, vice-president." (see Klein, Volume 2, page 186-187)

In July 1905, Lovett, who was already serving as general counsel for Union Pacific, was voted in as a director. (New York Times, July 15, 1905)

By April 1907, Lovett was a member of Union Pacific's Executive Committee. By June 1909 he was vice president of Union Pacific. On September 13, 1909, he was elected as Chairman of the Executive Committee, replacing Harriman after Harriman's death on September 9th. (New York Times, April 11, 1907; June 25, 1909; September 14, 1909)

On October 21, 1909, Lovett was elected president of Union Pacific. He retained his title as Chairman of the Executive Committee. He was also named as president of Oregon Short Line, and of Southern Pacific. (New York Times, October 22, 1909)

Government Service -- "In August 1917, four months after the United States entered the World war, Mr. Lovett was called to Washington as a member of the War Industries Board. He organized the Division of Priorities and was placed in charge of that branch of the board, thus participating in the first price fixing of the war period., which was done in August 1917." "When the Government took over the railroads in January 1918, Mr. Lovett went to the Railroad Administration as director of the Division of Capital Expenditures, which was shortly afterward reorganized. He continued in this post until after signing the armistice, when he resigned (effective January 1, 1919) and returned to his former position with the Union Pacific, from which he had resigned before entering war work. He was president until March 1, 1920, and had been chairman of the board since then." (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 20, 1932)

A. L. Mohler

President of Union Pacific, October 1911 to July 1916

In 1897, A. L. Mohler was named as president of the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company, a part of the joint control of ORy&N by Union Pacific and James Hill, who had equal numbers of members on the ORR&N board. Mohler had put in fifteen years on Hill's lines before coming to Navigation and was considered Hill's man. He remained president of the railroad in 1899 when Harriman bought Hill's interest and took full control of Oregon Railroad & Navigation.

When Harriman became president of Union Pacific, he brought A. L. Mohler from ORR&N to become general manager (and soon vice-president) in Omaha, effective on April 1, 1904. In April 1911, when Lovett reorganized the management structure, he set A. L. Mohler as Union Pacific president, with headquarters in Omaha.

Mohler retired in January 1916 after an injury while ice skating in Omaha.

Edgar E. Calvin

May 1916 -- July 1918

July 11, 1881
E. E. Calvin drove the first spike on the Oregon Short Line Railway at Granger, Wyoming: "Special to the Tribune - Granger, Wyoming, July 11 - Track laying on the Oregon Short Line began at this point today. The first spike was driven by E. E. Calvin, operator at Granger." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 12, 1881)

Edgar E. Calvin was later vice president and general manager of Oregon Short Line Railroad, replacing W. H. Bancroft in that position in 1914. He was named Union Pacific president in May 1916, a position he held until January 1920 and the reorganization following return from USRA control. He then became Vice President of Operations, until his mandatory retirement at age 70 in 1928. (New York Times, May 31, 1916; Maury Klein, Union Pacific, 1894-1969, page 246)

Robert S. Lovett

Robert Scott Lovett (June 22, 1860 – June 19, 1932)

(Read the Wikipedia article)

President of Union Pacific, February 1, 1919 to December 31, 1919

Resigned as President as part of his own reorganization of the Union Pacific management to put control of the railroads of the Union Pacific system back to local management, reversing what Harriman had put into place. (see Klein, Volume 2, page 242-243)

Chairman of the Board of Union Pacific from March 1, 1920 until his death in 1932.

Robert A. Lovett

Robert Abercrombie Lovett (September 14, 1895 – May 7, 1986) (son and only child of Robert S. Lovett)

(Read the Wikipedia article)

After graduating from Yale in 1918, and studying briefly at Harvard Business School, Lovett became a Navy flier during World War I, being awarded the Navy Cross in 1919. After the war, he returned being an investment banker with Brown Brothers Harriman & Company in New York City.

Elected as a member of the Union Pacific Executive Committee in 1930. During the 1930s, Lovett was also an officer with Brown Brothers Harriman & Company, the New York City investment banking house.

In 1940, Lovett went to Washington D. C. as Special Assistant to the Secretary of War, and soon became Assistant Secretary of Defense for Air during World War II, and in July 1947 replaced Dean Acheson as Under Secretary of State.

"A year later Robert Lovett let Roland Harriman know he was ready to leave government for good. He had come back to the company in 1949 after serving as under secretary of state only to leave the next year to become deputy secretary of defense. In 1951 he had moved up to secretary of defense, a post he held until January 1953." At that time he took Jeffers' seat on the Union Pacific board after Jeffers resigned at Roland Harriman's request. Jeffers died four months later. (see Klein, Volume 2, page 472-473)

"Both Roland Harriman and Robert Lovett remained on the Union Pacific board until 1978. When Roland died that year, Lovett resigned because he thought it 'appropriate that our memberships on the Boards should both end in the same year.'" (see Klein, Volume 2, page 544)

Carl R. Gray

Carl Raymond Gray (1867–1939)

President of Union Pacific, January 1920 -- October 1937

"Carl L. Gray, formerly head of Western Maryland Railway and an official of the Railroad Administration (director of operation and maintenance for USRA), was elected President of the Union Pacific system, effective Jan. 1, at a meeting yesterday of the boards of the companies in that system." "Mr. Gray will have his headquarters at Omaha. He will be the operating head of the entire system, which now is divided into two units, with separate operating chiefs. the Union Pacific Railroad Company and the Oregon Short Line form one unit and the Oregon-Washington Railroad & Navigation Company the other." "E. E. Calvin was appointed Vice President in charge of operations at the end of Federal control. It previously had been announced that H. M. Adams had been named Vice President in charge of traffic of the system. Judge Robert S. Lovett continues as Chairman of the Executive Committee." "Carl Gray began his railroad career thirty years ago as a helper at the St. Louis & San Francisco station at Fayetteville, Arkansas. He was freshman in the University of Arkansas when he left school to take the job." (New York Times, December 12, 1919)

Gray became senior vice-president of the Frisco in 1909. Three years later James J. Hill thought well enough of Gray to make him president of the Great Northern. In 1914 Gray left the Great Northern and became president of the Western Maryland. Gray left Western Maryland and went into government service with the war. Once named president of the Union Pacific, a post he assumed in January 1920, he remained with the company for the rest of his life. (Maury Klein, Union Pacific Volume II, 1894-1969, page 244-246)

William Jeffers

October 1, 1937 -- February 1, 1946

William Jeffers started with Union Pacific as a call boy at age 14 in North Platte, where he was born into a railroad family in 1876. By 1900 he had become chief dispatcher on the Wyoming Division and began his rise into top management from there. In 1912 he was promoted from superintendent of UP's Utah Division, to superintendent of the newly created Wyoming Division. This change created two divisions out of three, with the new Wyoming Division encompassing Cheyenne to Ogden, and the new Nebraska Division being from Cheyenne to Omaha. In 1914, Jeffers became the superintendent of the Nebraska Division, then in 1916 he was named general manager of the Nebraska Division. The next step was vice president of operations, which came in October 1928. With Harriman and Gray both occupied with national policy matters, William Jeffers was by 1934 at the center of operations. He was chosen in April 1937 to replace Carl Gray upon his planned retirement in October 1937.

G. F. Ashby

February 1, 1946 -- March 1, 1949

Arthur E. Stoddard

March 1, 1948 -- January 1, 1965 (16 years)

Stoddard started his railroad career as a shop apprentice on St. Louis San Francisco (Frisco Lines) in 1915. He joined Union Pacific in 1916 as a station helper.

Edd H. Bailey

January 1965 -- September 1971

January 1965 to September 1971, president of Union Pacific Railroad, succeeding the retiring Arthur E. Stoddard

President of Union Pacific Railroad before, and after the creation of Union Pacific Corporation in January 1969

Edd Bailey retired as president of Union Pacific Railroad on October 1, 1971, and was succeeded by John Kenefick.

After his retirement on October 1, 1971, Bailey remained as a director of both Union Pacific Railroad, and Union Pacific Corporation, until his mandatory retirement at age 70 in 1974.

January 1964 to January 1965, CEO of Union Pacific Railroad's Transportation Division, with responsibilities for the railroad, but not any of the non-railroad subsidiaries.

From April 1957 to January 1964, Bailey was vice president of operations.

Bailey started his railroad career with Union Pacific, as a car department helper in Cheyenne after high school. (Trains magazine, March 1965, page 9, "Arrivals & Departures")

Edd Hamilton Bailey was born on September 13, 1904, and died on Sunday September 11, 1988 at his home in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He was 83 years old. He is buried in the Lakeview Cemetery in Cheyenne.

The following comes from the September 13, 1988 issue of New York Times:

Edd Bailey Dies at 83; Once Headed Railroad

OMAHA, Neb., Sept. 12 -- (Associated Press) Edd H. Bailey, who worked his way up from a helper in the car repair shop to president of the Union Pacific Railroad, died Sunday in Cheyenne, Wyo. He was 83 years old.

Mr. Bailey became president of the Omaha-based railroad in 1965 and retired in 1971. He served on the board of directors of the parent Union Pacific Corporation until 1974.

Mr. Bailey was born in Elmo, Mo., the eldest of 12 children. In 1922, at age 18, he took a job as a helper in the railroad's car repair shop in Cheyenne at 38 cents an hour.

He later worked as a freight yard blacksmith, loaded mail cars and served as a brakeman, conductor, special police agent and trainmaster.

By 1945, Mr. Bailey had become superintendent of the railroad's Nebraska and Wyoming divisions. He was appointed vice president in charge of operations in 1957 and seven years later became the executive officer of the railroad's transportation division. The next year he was named president of the railroad. (New York Times, September 13, 1988)


Frank E. Barnett

January 1969 -- August 1977, chairman and CEO of Union Pacific Corporation

Barnett joined Union Pacific as general counsel in 1951, and became a vice president in 1955; during August 1960, Frank E. Barnett was shown as a vice president and eastern general counsel of Union Pacific Railroad.

In November 1966, Barnett was named chairman of the executive committee in New York City, succeeding Robert A. Lovett, 71, who retired.

James H. Evans

January 1969 -- August 1977, president of Union Pacific Corporation

August 1977 to July 1985, chairman and CEO of Union Pacific Corporation

William S. Cook

August 1977 -- May 1983, president and chief operating officer of Union Pacific Corporation

May 1983 to October 1987, CEO of Union Pacific Corporation

John C. Kenefick

October 1, 1971 -- January 1986 (14 years)

In April 1968 Kenefick was named as vice president of operations of Union Pacific Railroad, previously employed by New York Central.

The following comes from the November 1971 issue of "Info," the Union Pacific employee magazine:

John C. Kenefick Elected Union Pacific President -- "It was a joy to came back." October 1, 1971 was an important day for Union Pacific Railroad. On that day John C. Kenefick. became the company's president.

Born December 26, 1921, in Buffalo, New York, Kenefick was the son of an attorney. As a boy, he was fascinated by trains and, in fact, subscribed to Railway Age when he was 12. Early in life he decided he wanted a career in railroading. When it came time to attend college, he chose Princeton because it was a good school and he majored in mechanical engineering because he thought it would be useful in railroad work. After graduating from Princeton and serving three years as a Navy officer, primarily in the Pacific, Kenefick went to work as a machinist's helper in the New York Central roundhouse at Buffalo, New York. In six months he left NYC, and heeding Horace Greeley's advice, loaded his possessions in a 1939 Buick and headed west.

Kenefick came to Omaha and succeeded in landing a job in UP's mechanical department. He was hired as a draftsman in the section that designed and made drawings of locomotives. After a year, he left the mechanical department and hired out as a brakeman -- he thought it would be a good way to learn more about the railroad business. In six months he was appointed assistant trainmaster at Kansas City, and he later became trainmaster at Salina. In 1952, Kenefick joined the Denver & Rio Grande Western where he served in various capacities, finally becoming division superintendent at Alamosa, Colorado.

In 1954, he went back to New York Central where he served as a trouble shooter. He held various jobs as assistant superintendent and superintendent. He rose through the ranks and became general manager of the New York District. Kenefick was named general manager of transportation for the system in 1958, assistant vice president-operations in 1965 and vice president-operations in 1966. Effective with the merger of the New York Central and the Pennsylvania railroads on February 1, 1968, Kenefick became vice president-transportation for the Penn Central.

John Kenefick returned to Union Pacific on May 1, 1968, as vice president-operations. He said, "it was a joy to come back." Kenefick became executive vice president in 1969, was elected chief executive officer of the transportation division September 1, 1970 and became president October 1, 1971. Union Pacific's new president is a firm believer that the more an employee knows about UP, the more valuable he will be to the company. He applies that rule to himself, as well, having recently completed an eight-day inspection tour of the Eastern and South Central Districts. He summed up his approach by telling INFO, "You can't see the railroad from 35,000 feet in the air!"

In July 1969 Kenefick was elected to the newly created position of executive vice president of Union Pacific Railroad.

September 1970 to October 1971, CEO of Union Pacific Railroad (Edd Bailey remained as president)

John C. Kenefick was elected to CEO of Union Pacific Railroad on August 27, 1970, taking the position on September 1, 1970. Edd Bailey was to continue as president, although he was scheduled to retire on September 30, 1970. (New York Times, August 28, 1970)

Kenefick was elected president of Union Pacific Railroad on September 31, 1971, to take effect on October 1, 1971, upon the retirement of Edd Bailey.

October 1971 to January 1986, president and CEO of Union Pacific Railroad, succeeding Edd Bailey as president, who retired.

On January 3, 1983, Kenefick was named as Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Union Pacific Railroad, with headquarters at Omaha. He held the position until April 1, 1986. (Union Pacific Corporation 1983 and 1986 annual reports)

(R. G. "Mike" Flannery was UPRR president from January 3, 1983 to 1987; Drew Lewis was UPRR chairman and CEO from April 1, 1986 to November 1, 1986, then Mike Walsh was chairman and CEO from November 1, 1986 to August 1, 1991)

January 1986 to January 1987, vice chairman of Union Pacific Corporation

In January 1986, Kenefick was succeeded by Drew Lewis as chairman and CEO of Union Pacific Railroad

In April 1986, Kenefick was elected as vice chairman and CEO of Union Pacific Corporation.

On January 1, 1987, Kenefick retired as vice chairman of Union Pacific Corporation.

John Cooper Kenefick died on July 15, 2011 at age 89; born December 26, 1921

Robert G. Flannery

January 3, 1983 -- 1987

(Flannery retired after the arrival of Mike Walsh in October 1986; Walsh was already chairman and CEO of UPRR, and took the president's position upon Flannery's retirement.)

Former president of Missouri Pacific Railroad, which merged with Union Pacific on January 1, 1983.

R. G. "Mike" Flannery started his railroad career in the engineering department of New York Central in February 1948, and was vice president, systems development when NYC and PRR merged to form Penn Central. He became Penn Central's vice president-operation in October 1970. He moved over to Western Pacific as executive vice president effective January 1, 1971, and was elected president of Western Pacific and assumed that office on January 1, 1973. (taken from

In June 1982, he was chosen as president of Missouri Pacific Railroad upon the sudden death of that road's president, James Gessner.

Born in Washington, Indiana on September 14, 1924, Robert Gene "Mike" Flannery, 78, died at his home in Hillsborough, California, on May 21, 2003.

Drew Lewis

(Andrew L. Lewis)

April 1986 to October 1986, chairman and CEO of Union Pacific Railroad

October 1986 to October 1987, president and chief operating officer of Union Pacific Corporation

October 1987 to January 1997, chairman and CEO of Union Pacific Corporation

October 1, 1987 -- Drew Lewis, former Secretary of Transportation, was named as chairman and CEO of Union Pacific Corporation. Since April 1986, he had been a director and CEO of Union Pacific Railroad. Lewis succeeded John C. Kenefick in the chairman and CEO position. (Pacific RailNews, Issue 290, January 1988, page 10)

Former Transportation Secretary Drew Lewis was elected chairman and chief executive of Union Pacific Railroad in January 1986, succeeding John C. Kenefick, who became vice chairman of Union Pacific Corporation, the railroad's parent company. William S. Cook, chairman, president and CEO of Union Pacific Corporation, said Lewis, was slated to take over his duties when Cook turned 65 and retired on October 1, 1987.

In April 1986, after being elected in January 1986, Drew Lewis became chairman and CEO of the Union Pacific Railroad. In October 1986, he became President and Chief Operating Officer of the parent Union Pacific Corporation. One year later, on October 1, 1987, he became chairman and CEO of Union Pacific Corporation, succeeding William S. Cook. He served in that post until 1997. (part from New York Times, September 25, 1987)

In November 1986, two CA-8 cabooses were retired and repainted as UP's two original cabooses, numbered as UP 25000 and 25001, for display supposedly at the mountain retreat of Mr. Drew Lewis (Union Pacific Corporation's CEO and chairman of the Board) near Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Both cabooses remain in Pennsylvania, UP 25000 (ex-25505) is on private property near Pottstown, and 25001 (ex-25519) is at the Pennsylvania Live Steamers in Rahns.

In May 1988, Union Pacific corporate headquarters were moved from New York City, to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 43 miles from Drew Lewis' farm in Schwenksville, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The Bethlehem location was in the top three floors of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation's headquarters building. All 120 UP corporate employees were moved from New York City to Bethlehem. (Associated Press, May 11, 1988)

In October 1994, under Lewis' leadership, Union Pacific made an offer to buy and merge with Santa Fe Pacific Corporation, the parent company of the Santa Fe railroad. Union Pacific offered $3.4 billion, compared to BN's $2.5 billion. (The Philadelphia Enquirer, October 15, 1994) UP's offer to merge with Santa Fe was reported as having failed without Lewis' direct involvement while he took a five-week leave of absence and sought treatment for alcoholism in late October 1994. In August 1995, he returned and made an offer to buy and merge with Southern Pacific. (BusinessWeek, August 20, 1995) In December 1995, Lewis was arrested for drunk driving. (Lehigh Valley's The Morning Call, January 1, 1996) Lewis was arrested again in 2002 for drunk driving. (New York Times, February 12, 2016)

Drew Lewis retired on December 31, 1996, after turning 66. After retiring from Union Pacific, Drew Lewis retired to his farm, Lilliput, in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania.

Andrew "Drew" Lindsay Lewis Jr. was born on November 3, 1931, in Philadelphia and grew up on a farm in rural Norristown, Pennsylvania. Lewis passed away on February 10, 2016, at age 84.

(Read Drew Lewis' obituary in New York Tmes, February 12, 2016)

Michael H. Walsh

October 1986 to August 1991, chairman and CEO of Union Pacific Railroad, succeeding Drew Lewis

In 1986, Mike Walsh became Union Pacific Railroad's CEO and chairman and succeeded in nearly doubling profits. Along the way, he established himself as one of America's most dynamic young managers. From 1980 to 1986, Walsh was executive vice president for worldwide business at Cummins Engine.

In August 1991 Walsh resigned as chairman and CEO of Union Pacific Railroad; succeeded by Richard Davidson

Walsh resigned from Union Pacific in August 1991, and in October 1991 became president of Tenneco, the Houston conglomerate. In January 1992, Walsh took over as CEO of Tenneco, and became Tenneco chairman in May 1992. He died of brain cancer in May 1994.

Together with Drew Lewis, UP chairman starting in 1987, Michael Walsh cut nearly 12,000 employees from UP's ranks. The cuts resulted in greater productivity from line workers as well as a more responsive management, whose ranks were thinned by cutting 800 managers, reducing layers of management from nine levels to only three. In another cost-saving move, Union Pacific Corporation in 1988 relocated its headquarters from New York City to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

In January 1991, Walsh was voted as Railway Age magazine's Railroader of the Year.

The following comes from Portland Business Journal, March 16, 2004, in an article about a new athletic track at Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon:

The [$1.2 million] project was funded entirely by private contributions, including $250,000 from the Walsh family. The field is named for Mike Walsh, a 1960 Lincoln graduate and all-star athlete who later became a business executive.

An attorney, he served a brief stint as a public defender, then worked with John Gardner to help found Common Cause. He was appointed U.S. Attorney for Southern California by President Jimmy Carter in 1976. In 1980 he entered the private sector as a senior vice president at Cummins Manufacturing and after four years moved on to become chairman of Union Pacific Railroad. He had just started a turnaround at Tenneco as chairman and CEO at the time of his death in 1994.


Richard K. Davidson

August 1991 to July 1996, president and CEO of Union Pacific Railroad

July 1996 to January 1997, chief operating officer of Union Pacific Corporation

January 1997 to January 2006, chairman and CEO of Union Pacific Corporation (James Young became chairman in January 2006)

January 2006 to January 2007, CEO of Union Pacific Corporation

Davidson began his railroad career with Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1960 as a brakeman and conductor. In 1966, after graduating from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, Davidson accepted a position as an assistant trainmaster with Missouri Pacific in Shreveport, Louisiana. He held various operating department positions until 1975. In 1975-1976, he was assistant to vice president of operations for Missouri Pacific, then vice president of operations after 1976. Union Pacific and Missouri Pacific merged in 1982, and Davidson held various management positions until 1986. In 1986 he was named as UP's vice president of operations, and in 1989 he was named as UP's executive vice president of operations.

In January 2003, Davidson was voted as Railway Age magazine's Railroader of the Year.

In 2012, Davidson resigned as a director of Union Pacific Corporation after receiving only 27 percent of shareholders votes that he be retained as a director. (New York Times, June 8, 2012)


Ron Burns

August 1995 to November 1996, president of Union Pacific Railroad

Ronald J. Burns became Union Pacific President in August 1995. Before joining UP, Burns was with Enron Corporation. He resigned the President and CEO position at Union Pacific on November 6, 1996. (New York Times, November 7, 1996)

Ron Burns was responsible for the "We Will Deliver..." slogan seen on Union Pacific locomotives and freight cars.

Jerry R. Davis

November 1996 to September 1998, president of Union Pacific Railroad

September 1998 to April 1999, vice chairman of Union Pacific Railroad


Ivor J. (Ike) Evans

September 1998 to January 2004, president and chief operating officer of Union Pacific Railroad

On September 15, 1998, Ivor J. (Ike) Evans was named president and Chief Operating Officer of Union Pacific Railroad, succeeding Jerry Davis who was named vice chairman of Union Pacific Railroad. Prior to coming to Union Pacific, Evans served in executive positions at Emerson Electric Co. between 1989 and 1998, and spent 21 years with General Motors Co. In January 2004, Evans was also shown as the chairman of the board of the American Association of Railroads.

January 2004 to February 2005, vice chairman and director of Union Pacific Railroad

In January 2004, Ike Evans was named as vice chairman and director of UPRR; succeeded as president by James Young.

Evans retired as vice chairman and director of UPRR in February 2005; elected to board of directors of UP Corporation. (In May 2013, Evans was named as interim chairman and CEO of truck component manufacturer Meritor, Inc.)

James R. Young

January 2004 to January 2006, president and chief operating officer of Union Pacific Railroad

In January 2004, James R. Young was named president and chief operating officer of Union Pacific Railroad, succeeding Ike Evans.

January 2006 to February 2007, president and CEO of Union Pacific Corporation

February 2007 to March 2012, chairman of Union Pacific Corporation

Young began his railroad career with Union Pacific in 1978 and has held a variety of professional, managerial, and senior management positions. In 1995 he was named vice president, Re-engineering and Design, and in 1997 vice president, Customer Service Planning and Quality. Young was named senior vice president and corporate treasurer of Union Pacific Corporation in 1998, senior vice president, Finance and corporate controller in March 1999, and executive vice president, Finance and chief financial officer of Union Pacific Corporation in December 1999, the position he held before his appointment to president and chief operating officer of Union Pacific Railroad.

John J. Koraleski

Since March 1999, John Koraleski had been Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales of Union Pacific Railroad

On March 2, 2012, John J. Koraleski was named as acting president and acting CEO of both Union Pacific Railroad and Union Pacific Corporation, due to James Young's medical leave; James Young remained as chairman of Union Pacific Corporation

In July 2012, Koraleski was named as a director of Union Pacific Corporation.

Lance M. Fritz

February 6, 2014
The following comes from a Union Pacific news release dated February 6, 2014:

Union Pacific Railroad has named Lance M. Fritz as president and chief operating officer. Fritz most recently was executive vice president of operations. Cameron A. Scott has been named to succeed Fritz. The appointments are effective immediately.

The company is also announcing the retirement of Jim R. Young as an employee. He will continue to serve as chairman of the company's board of directors in a non-executive role. Young retired from the company Jan. 31 but will remain on the company's board as its non-executive chairman. Young had served as president, chairman, and chief executive officer of Union Pacific since 2007. He stepped down as president and CEO in 2012 for medical reasons but remained as chairman of the board.

In his new position, Frtiz is responsible for operations, marketing and sales, information technology, continuous improvement, supply, and labor relations. He will report to Jack Koraleski, CEO of the railroad and president and CEO of Union Pacific Corp.

Fritz joined Union Pacific in 2000 as vice president and general manager of the energy group. He was named regional vice president of operations, first for the northern region and then the southern region in 2006. He served as vice president of labor relations prior to being named vice president of operations in 2008. He was named executive vice president of operations in 2010.

Prior to joining Union Pacific, Fritz worked for Fiskars Inc., Cooper Industries, and General Electric. He is a graduate of Bucknell University and earned a master's degree in management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Position Descriptions

Chairman of the Board -- The presiding officer of the corporate board of directors. The chairman influences the board of directors, which in turn elects and removes the officers of a corporation and oversees the human, financial, environmental and technical operations of a corporation. The CEO may also hold the title of chairman.

President -- Legally recognized as the highest "titled" corporate officer, and usually a member of the Board of Directors. Often the CEO also holds the title of President, while in other organizations if there is a separate CEO, the President is then second highest-ranking position. In such a case the President is often the Chief Operating Officer and is considered to be more focused upon daily operations compared to the CEO which is supposed to be the visionary. If the corporate President is not the COO, then many division heads report directly to the CEO themselves, with the President taking on special assignments from the CEO.

Chief Executive Officer -- The CEO of a corporation is the highest ranking management officer of a corporation and has final decisions over human, financial, environmental and technical operations of the corporation. The CEO is also a visionary, often leaving day-to-day operations to the President, Chief Operating Officer or division heads. Other corporate officers such as the COO, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer, and division heads report to the CEO. The CEO is also often the Chairman of the Board.

With many companies and corporations as large as Union Pacific Railroad and Union Pacific Corporation with large organizations and numerous vice presidents and assistant vice presidents, combining the positions of President, CEO and chairman is more often used to justify increasing compensation, rather than a change in actual duties being performed.

More Information

Wikipedia entry for Union Pacific Company Officers

Union Pacific: The Reconfiguration: America's Greatest Railroad from 1969 to the Present (Oxford University Press, 2011); ISBN-10: 0195369890; ISBN-13: 978-0195369892 -- An excellent and well written narrative of the personalities who managed Union Pacific in the 1969 to 2004, and the major events on the railroad during the same period.