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Greenbrier CEO Furman to Remain Through Pandemic; Sets Retirement Date

July 13, 2020, 07:20 AM

The Board of Directors of The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. announced Chairman and CEO Bill Furman has agreed to continue in his current position for up to two more years, retiring in 2022. As part of the company's ongoing succession planning process, Furman will retire from all executive offices in September 2022.

The Board took this, and the related actions described below to ensure the continuity of an experienced leadership team for two more fiscal years through its fiscal 2022. These actions also provide for effective succession and management transitions, along with continued development of Greenbrier's executive talent pipeline. The current COVID-19 crisis and accompanying environment of economic uncertainty requires an experienced industry and management team to lead Greenbrier through extraordinary times. All key executives at Greenbrier have an ongoing commitment to leadership development and succession planning. Effective management through the pandemic and the current economic uncertainty is the company's most pressing priority. 

As part of an amended agreement signed this week, Furman volunteered to continue in his role with reduced total compensation and to extend the current voluntary reduction of his base pay. Also, Furman agreed to forgo any annual performance-based bonuses for fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2021 in the form of cash and instead will receive company stock. Furman receives no stock or cash compensation awards in connection with his revised agreement. He will be eligible for equity grants in the normal course of annual equity compensation programs. The release of Furman's equity grants will be heavily weighted toward achieving company performance metrics along with goals tied to CEO succession.

On May 15, Furman increased his personal stock ownership in Greenbrier with a purchase of 100,000 shares at a total cost of $1.6 million. Including restricted stock units (RSUs) releasable at target performance, Furman now holds over 600,000 shares or RSUs.

"In my opinion, Greenbrier's share price is undervalued," stated Furman. "We have strongly advanced our strategic market and product position over the past 18 months in North America and have done the same on three other continents. I look forward to working with our Board and key executives through this period of uncertainty to continue to build Greenbrier's strength and industry leadership for the future. I expect stronger financial performance as the impact of COVID-19 lessens and the economy improves over time, allowing the market dynamics in our industry to normalize." 

At Furman's recommendation, the Compensation Committee of the Board awarded a special one-time stock grant to President and Chief Operating Officer Lorie Tekorius. She stepped into her new role last year with no base salary increase while taking on greatly increased responsibilities during unprecedented times.

Furman said, "Lorie has performed extremely well, both in operating and commercial leadership, and in leading our teams responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Greenbrier has accomplished immediate, targeted reductions in costs, and has carried out aggressive liquidity management and appropriate business strategies. One-third of Lorie's stock will be tied to specific business goals to be executed within 12 months and the remainder will vest ratably on the two- and three-year anniversaries of her grant."

Greenbrier, headquartered in Lake Oswego, OR, is leading international supplier of equipment and services to global freight transportation markets. Greenbrier designs, builds and markets freight railcars and marine barges in North America. Greenbrier offers railcar management, regulatory compliance services and leasing services to railroads and related transportation industries in North America. Greenbrier owns a lease fleet of 8,800 railcars and performs management services for 391,000 railcars.

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