Matthew Rose will step down as executive chairman and retire from BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) in April of 2019, the Fort Worth-based railroad announced Oct. 3.
At the end of his tenure, Rose will have been executive chairman for six years, and BNSF CEO for the prior 13 years. He also served in senior leadership for marketing and operations before assuming the CEO role in 2000. During his tenure as CEO, he helped guide the acquisition of BNSF by Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) in 2009.
“It was a very lucky day for me and for Berkshire Hathaway when I met Matt Rose,” said Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway in a news release. “Under Matt’s management, BNSF has become a major source of profit and pride for Berkshire. And, as a citizen, Matt has been an exemplar for corporate leadership.”
Rose’s tenure is characterized by his commitment to growth with customers, achieving productivity especially through technological advancement, and developing BNSF’s employees.
As a key part of employee development, Rose oversaw the design of the BNSF Leadership Model in 2000 and successfully institutionalized it to forge a cohesive BNSF corporate culture. Through the Leadership Model, BNSF has developed the leadership of teams and individuals across the company throughout the years, making BNSF more successful and resilient.
Rose’s commitment to safety and productivity is best demonstrated through his focus on technology. BNSF’s leadership in train control implementation, and other technologies, will change the industry for decades to come, according to the news release.
“I have been incredibly fortunate to work alongside some of the most talented people in the transportation industry,” said Rose. “Through my 26 years at BNSF – 19 in leadership – I have seen enormous change in our economy. Our company has navigated those changes well and now is extremely well positioned for the next several decades. It has been an honor to lead this organization, as a publicly traded company and also as part of BRK.”
Rose has been a high profile leader in the community as well, working on a variety of issues. Most recently, Rose is leading the executive council for Read Fort Worth, the organization working to increase reading among Fort Worth students.