OMAHA, Neb., March 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Union Pacific's board of directors today named Gayla L. Thal senior vice president – Law and general counsel. Thal succeeds J. Michael Hemmer, who will serve in an advisory role until retiring later this year.
Thal has nearly 32 years' experience with the railroad, most recently serving as vice president – Law and chief compliance officer. She previously held leadership roles in the areas of Law, Claims and Risk Management. Thal earned her Bachelor of Science degree from University of Nebraska at Kearney and her law degree from Creighton University.
"Gayla has successfully managed a comprehensive list of Union Pacific's operational risks and legal issues. In these leadership roles, she has helped improve Union Pacific's reputation in tandem with our outstanding service, safety and performance records," said President and CEO Jack Koraleski.
Union Pacific promoted Michael L. Whitcomb to vice president – Law and chief compliance officer, succeeding Thal. Whitcomb has more than 33 years' experience with Union Pacific, most recently serving as assistant vice president – Law. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Point Loma Nazarene University, MBA from California State University and law degree from the University of Denver.
Bob Belt has been promoted to assistant vice president – Law. He has 13 years' experience with Union Pacific, most recently serving as general solicitor. Belt earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Metropolitan State College of Denver, MBA from Pepperdine University and law degree from Washburn University.
"While we will miss Mike Hemmer when he retires later this year, he transformed our Law department. He leaves behind a great legacy of service, dedication and excellence – not only at Union Pacific but also for the entire industry," Koraleski said.
About Union Pacific It was 150 years ago that Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of July 1, 1862, creating the original Union Pacific. One of America's iconic companies, today Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP), linking 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail and providing freight solutions and logistics expertise to the global supply chain. From 2000 through 2011, Union Pacific spent more than $31 billion on its network and operations, making needed investments in America's infrastructure and enhancing its ability to provide safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible freight transportation. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers and emphasizes excellent customer service. Union Pacific operates competitive routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways.