FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Fort Worth-based BNSF’s pick to be its next CEO will be the first woman to lead a major North American railroad.

BNSF will promote Kathryn Farmer in January to replace retiring President and CEO Carl Ice. Farmer currently serves as the company’s Executive Vice President and oversees operations at BNSF. She has been with the railroad for 28 years.

(credit: BNSF)

Farmer has held a variety of leadership positions at the railroad owned by Warren Buffett’s conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway. The Association of American Railroads trade group said Farmer will be the first female top executive at one of the biggest North American railroads.

“We look forward to Katie’s leadership and more success. She possesses all of the qualities that make us excited about the future,” Buffett said.

BNSF operates 32,500 miles of track in 28 western state and three Canadian provinces. According to their website, the company has approximately 36,000 employees and in 2019 shipped more than 10 million carloads.

The railroad is one of the largest subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway, which also owns more than 90 other insurance, utility, manufacturing and retail businesses. The Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate also has major investments in such companies as Apple, Bank of America, Coca-Cola and American Express.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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