Tom Williams Named Executive Vice President and CMO of BNSF

Jun 3, 2024

FORT WORTH, Texas—BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) today announced that Steve Bobb, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, will retire in August 2024 after more than 36 years of service. Tom Williams, who currently serves as group vice president, Consumer Products, will succeed Bobb as executive vice president and chief marketing officer, effective September 1, 2024. Jon Gabriel, currently vice president, Service Design and Network Strategies, will replace Williams as group vice president, Consumer Products.

Bobb joined BNSF in 1987 and held various positions in information systems, business analysis, planning and marketing. He led several business units, including Minerals, Chemicals, Agricultural Products and Coal, before becoming executive vice president and chief marketing officer in 2013. In this role, he was responsible for leading BNSF's sales, marketing, customer service and economic development teams. He also served as a general manager in Operations from 2005 to 2008.

“Steve has been a key leader and contributor to BNSF’s success for more than three decades,” said Katie Farmer, president and chief executive officer of BNSF. “He has built strong relationships with our customers and communities and fostered a culture of innovation and excellence in our Marketing organization. We thank him for his passion and dedication and wish him and his family all the best in his retirement.”

Tom Williams joined the former Santa Fe Railway Company in 1993 and held various positions in intermodal, automotive and industrial products marketing. He also served as assistant vice president, Intermodal/Automotive Operations in the Service Design and Performance group at BNSF. He was promoted to vice president, Industrial Products Sales in 2014, and vice president, Industrial Products in 2016, responsible for marketing and sales for chemicals, plastics and petroleum products. He became group vice president, Consumer Products in 2017, overseeing the intermodal and automotive business units.

As executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Williams will assume responsibility for BNSF’s sales and marketing activities, customer service and economic development.

“Having an experienced leader like Tom take the reins of our Marketing team and strategy will prove invaluable as we continue to evolve, innovate and deliver industry-leading service,” said Farmer. “Tom’s deep background in intermodal, carload and operations will position BNSF for long-term success.”

Jon Gabriel began his career at BNSF in Consumer Products in 2006 and then held several positions in Service Design. He moved to Transportation in 2012 where he served in numerous leadership roles with increasing responsibility including general manager of the Montana and Northwest Divisions and later as general superintendent of BNSF’s Network Operations Center in Fort Worth. Prior to his most recent role, Gabriel served as vice president, South Region.

“The success of our Consumer Products business is critical to both our present and our future at BNSF—which requires continual innovation in this segment,” said Tom Williams, executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “We’re fortunate to have an experienced and innovative leader, like Jon, to step into this dynamic role to lead our outstanding Consumer Products team to new heights.”

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