President Obama this week named BNSF Railways' Chairman and CEO Matthew K. Rose to his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, along with CEOs of some major freight shipper firms including DuPont and Kodak.
Rose is the only representative of a major freight carrier company on the board, which is designed to advise Obama on how to compete better in global trade and boost employment in an economy still weak from the 2008-9 recession.
BNSF is one of the largest freight railroads in North America, second only to western-U.S. rival Union Pacific Railroad in some activity measures. It is owned by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway investment firm.
Other appointees to the council include shipper industry officials Ellen Kullman, board chair and CEO at Dupont; Kodak Chairman and CEO Antonio Perez; and A.G. Lafley, the former chairman, president and CEO of Procter & Gamble.
The advisory group will also include union leaders Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, and Joseph Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Southwest Airlines' chairman, president and CEO, Gary Kelly, was named to the panel, as well as Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, and Paul Otellini, president and CEO of Intel.
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