As previously reported, Lorie Tekorius is officially taking over the role of president and CEO of The Greenbrier Companies today, while William A. Furman, the company’s co-founder and previous president and CEO, will move to the role of executive chair.
In his new role, Furman will retain responsibility for certain line functions until Aug. 31, 2022, the end of Greenbrier’s fiscal year. Furman will retire from all executive offices at that time, but he will remain a board member through his current board term, which will conclude in January 2024. Furman remains a top 15 shareholder in Greenbrier based on total shareholdings.
“Lorie’s contributions to Greenbrier are outstanding and worthy of her new role. She has excelled in assignments of increasing responsibility throughout her long career with Greenbrier. Lorie epitomizes the company’s values of respect for humanity, integrity and the interests of all stakeholders. Lorie’s dedication to Greenbrier and the transportation industry extends over more than two decades. The board of directors and I are confident her tenure and leadership will drive high impact outcomes,” Furman said. “Greenbrier is a global freight equipment and services provider with a strong foundation in place for long-term growth. Lorie’s vision for the company is innovative and strategic.”
Tekorius began her career with Greenbrier in 1995 and has risen through many positions of increasing leadership. Most recently, she served as president and chief operating officer, working side-by-side with Furman and key leaders to grow Greenbrier at scale to enhance its core business strengths of engineering, manufacturing, commercial and leasing; to develop its international business, while advancing workplace diversity, equity and inclusion; and to create an external and internal talent pipeline along with succession planning for key management. Prior to her promotion to president and COO, she served as CFO and directed Greenbrier’s strategic team and process for the past five years.
“In her position as president, Lorie delivered significant results for the company, including oversight of multiple business units. She has also managed two of Greenbrier’s largest acquisitions, global diversification, expansion into foreign markets and the integration of thousands of new employees in that time period,” Admiral Thomas B. Fargo (USN retired), lead director of Greenbrier’s board, said. “She has created substantial value for the company and the board is confident in Lorie’s ability to deliver long-term returns for our shareholders. We are pleased to elevate an internal leader with a proven track record and management capabilities to chart Greenbrier’s future.”
In addition to her career at Greenbrier, since 2019, Tekorius has served as an independent director on the board of directors of Alamo Group, which manufacturers equipment for infrastructure maintenance, agricultural and other applications.
Tekorius has received multiple public recognitions for her leadership in the rail industry and within the communities where Greenbrier operates. In 2017, she was one of 25 women recognized as “Women of Influence” by the Portland Business Journal. In addition, in 2018, the Portland Business Journal named Tekorius CFO of the Year. Also in 2018, she was recognized as one of 14 “Women in Rail” by Railway Age in recognition of her contributions to the industry. Tekorius was a 2020 National Association of Manufacturers’ STEP Ahead honoree, which is awarded to women in science, technology, engineering and production careers who exemplify leadership at their companies.
“I’m deeply honored to have the opportunity to succeed Bill. I will continue to build on the strong foundation that Bill has established as we move to the next phase of meeting the world’s evolving freight transportation needs. I am highly confident about our future and look forward to further accelerating the value we bring to our stakeholders,” Tekorius said.
“On behalf of Greenbrier’s board, we thank Bill for his outstanding leadership and deep commitment to the organization,” Fargo said. “His contributions as founder and CEO will be long remembered both at Greenbrier and throughout the freight transportation industry he redefined through his leadership. During his tenure, Bill transformed Greenbrier into a publicly traded company valued in the billions of dollars. His innovation, unrelenting focus and dedication to safety, quality and respect will long remain in the fabric of Greenbrier’s culture and operations.”
Furman began his career with FMC Corporation, a Fortune 500, multinational industrial company. At the age of 25, he became the first general manager of the FMC Finance division, a captive sales finance arm for FMC which he founded. Subsequently, Furman joined Trans Pacific Financial, a publicly-traded financial services company located in Portland, OR. Until 1974, he was corporate vice president of Trans Pacific’s leasing group and was responsible for all phases of its operations. In late 1974, Furman and Alan James acquired the Trans Pacific National division, a capital lease asset underwriter, and entered the railcar and commercial jet aircraft remarketing and asset management business. This acquisition would eventually lead to the founding of Greenbrier in its present form in 1981.
The original leasing company expanded into manufacturing with the acquisition of Gunderson in Portland, OR, in 1985 from FMC. Furman has guided Greenbrier through the expansion of its products and service offerings. What was once two railcar production lines is now a multibillion-dollar, global production operation that includes 12 facilities on three continents, integrated with aftermarket, leasing and services businesses.
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