Genesee & Wyoming Inc. has announced that Chairman of the Board of Directors Mortimer B. Fuller III has decided to retire following the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting in May 2017. Mr. Fuller’s retirement will serve as the culmination of a remarkable 40 years of distinguished service to the company, its stockholders and the short line railroad industry.
Mr. Fuller became Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman in 1977, when he purchased a controlling interest in the company’s corporate predecessor, the original Genesee and Wyoming Railroad, which his great grandfather founded in 1899. He has since served as Chief Executive Officer for 30 years and Chairman for 40 years. Throughout his tenure, he demonstrated an unwavering focus on growth and laid the foundation for the company’s Core Purpose – to be the safest and most respected rail service provider in the world.
“I am proud of all that the G&W team has accomplished over the years,” Fuller said. “The commitment of our remarkable employees, exceptional, industry-leading safety performance and the strength and depth of the organisation today is more than I ever imagined in 1977. The transition to a new generation of leadership has been a seamless process, and I’m confident G&W will continue to create value for all stockholders in the years to come,” said Mr. Fuller.
Following the Staggers Act deregulation of the US rail industry in 1980, Mr. Fuller led growth by acquisition, through an initial public offering in 1996 and expansion into the Australian and Canadian rail markets in 1997. The company’s disciplined acquisitions continued in those three markets and recently expanded to the UK/Europe. Many of G&W’s executive leadership joined on Mr. Fuller’s watch. Turning 75 in mid-May, Mr. Fuller’s retirement is consistent with the Company and Governance Committee guidelines established by the Board of Directors.
“Through the execution of Mort’s extraordinary vision for his family business, G&W has grown from a 14 mile short line railroad in upstate New York with 1977 revenues of US$4.4 million to a portfolio of 122 freight railroads worldwide with 2015 revenues of US$2 billion,” said Jack Hellmann, G&W’s Chief Executive Officer and Director. “On behalf of our railroads, employees around the world and our Board of Directors, I would like to express sincere gratitude for Mort’s lifelong commitment to the organisation and its people. It is an honour to carry on the core values, entrepreneurial spirit and ethical business practices that were instilled by Mort and have distinguished G&W for the past four decades.” G&W’s CEO and Board Member, Jack Hellmann, will be appointed Chairman of the Board following Mr. Fuller’s retirement in May 2017. Upon Mr. Hellmann’s appointment, Oivind Lorentzen will be appointed as G&W’s Lead Independent Director.
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