Vena Appointed UP COO

Union Pacific (UP) has appointed Jim Vena chief operating officer, effective January 14, 2019.

In his new position, Vena will lead all aspects of UP’s operations, including the implementation of the company’s new operating plan - Unified Plan 2020. He will report to Lance Fritz, UP chairman, president and CEO. Tom Lischer, executive vice president operations and Lynden Tennison, executive vice president and chief strategy officer, will report to Vena.

"Unified Plan 2020 combines precision scheduled railroading principles with our own UP Way tools and best practices," Fritz said. "We have been making excellent strides rolling out Unified Plan 2020, and Jim's vast knowledge of the precision scheduled railroading model brings significant experience and expertise that will enhance the work already underway."

Vena worked at Canadian National (CN) for 40 years, retiring in June 2016 as executive vice president and chief operating officer. During his tenure in this position, CN generated the North American rail industry's best operating ratio and achieved the best safety incident ratio in the company's history. Vena began his railroad career as a CN brakeman, advancing through the company in operations, marketing and sales groups, and also leading all of CN's operating regions.