James Young will take a medical leave of absence as Union Pacific’s (NYSE:UNP) chief executive while he is treated for recently diagnosed pancreatic cancer.
He will continue to serve as chairman.
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The Omaha, Neb.-based railroad company has appointed executive vice president of marketing and sales, John Koraleski, as acting CEO while Young recovers.
"The board has a great deal of confidence in Jack, Rob Knight our CFO, Lance Fritz our head of operations, and the entire management team,” said Steve Rogel, Union Pacific’s lead independent director.
Since joining the company in 1972, Koraleski has held a number of executive positions including controller and executive vice president of finance and chief financial officer of Union Pacific’s railroad subsidiary. He also held position in the railroad’s information technologies, real-estate and administrative positions.
“As Jim undergoes his treatment, he has the prayers and support of all 45,000 employees of the UP Team,” Koraleski said. The company is still committed to achieving another year of record results, he said.
Union Pacific reported record earnings of $1.99 a share last quarter that beat Wall Street expectations. Revenues climbed 16% to $5.1 billion.
In January, Young called 2011 “the most profitable year in Union Pacific’s history.”