President & Chief Executive Officer

John Newman, President & CEO for Progress Rail


John Newman is a senior vice president of Caterpillar Inc. and president and chief executive officer of Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company. He has responsibility for one of the largest integrated, diversified providers of rolling stock and infrastructure solutions and technologies for the global rail industry. 

John joined Caterpillar in 2011 as an attorney with the Legal Services Division, providing support to Progress Rail. He later joined Progress Rail’s commercial team, where he served as regional director of Sub-Saharan Africa, based in Pretoria, South Africa, and as the company’s strategic sales director. In 2015, John was promoted to senior vice president of corporate services, with responsibility for various administrative functions, as well as strategic growth, including mergers and acquisitions. In 2018, he was promoted to executive vice president of infrastructure, a position he held for five years before assuming his current role.

Prior to joining Caterpillar, John gained domestic and international experience working in the pharmaceutical, technology and textile industries before deciding to study law. After law school, he practiced at Burr & Forman LLP, where he focused on business planning, mergers and acquisitions, economic development, and antitrust matters.

John holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Auburn University, a master’s degree in International Business Administration from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, and a J.D., cum laude, from the University of Alabama.

Outside the office, John has served on the Board of Directors of the Business Council of Alabama, on the Board of Directors of the Marshall County Economic Development Council, and the Arthritis Foundation’s Southeast Region.


Railroads transport goods and people millions of miles every day. At Progress Rail, we believe in going the distance with them. Our mission is to deliver superior value in a cost-effective manner. 

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