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Kansas City Southern yesterday announced Patrick Ottensmeyer will succeed David Starling as chief executive officer effective July 1. Starling will serve as senior adviser to Ottensmeyer until Starling retires on Dec. 31.
Ottensmeyer will retain the position of president, a title he's held since March 1, 2015. Starling will remain a member of KCS' board until May 2017. Ottensmeyer will join the board when he becomes CEO.
The transition is the central component of the company's executive succession plan, KCS officials said in a press release.Ottensmeyer has served in several leadership roles at KCS, most recently as president, noted KCS Chairman Robert Druten."The board firmly believes Pat is the right person with the right experience and skills to lead KCS and help the company capitalize on its tremendous long-term growth opportunities," said Druten.
The board is "confident" that the success plan and the working relationship between Starling and Ottensmeyer "will result in a seamless transition without disruption to the superior performance of the company," Druten added.Ottensmeyer, 59, joined KCS in 2006 as executive vice president and chief financial officer. In 2008, he was named executive vice president of sales and marketing, and named president in 2015."Pat’s extensive financial and marketing background, coupled with the leadership he has demonstrated over the past year in strengthening the company’s rail operations, makes him the ideal individual to direct KCS in the years ahead,” said Starling. “In addition, his relationships with customers, investors, other railroad executives, and employees in both Mexico and the U.S., will be a tremendous asset as KCS seeks to translate its abundant business opportunities into sustained long-term growth."Starling has served in his current role since 2015 and director since 2010. From 2010 to 2015, he was president and CEO. From 2008 to 2010, he had been president and chief operating officer. Before joining KCS, he was president and director general of Panama Canal Railway Co. from 1999 to 2008.
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