10 Things You Didn’t Know about Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz

Lance Fritz is the current head of Union Pacific Railroad, which specializes in hauling freight rather than hauling passengers. Like a lot of other executives at other U.S. companies, he has been paying close attention to the economic policies of the Trump administration, which makes sense because the tariff battles and other trade disruptions could have enormous consequences for the corporation that he is in charge of. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Lance Fritz:

1. Lance Might Now Mean Lance

It is natural for people to expect Lance to mean lance in the sense of the pole weapon that was used by mounted warriors in the charge. However, it is interesting to note that Lance is believed to have come from Lanzo, which was a nickname for Germanic names beginning with the landa element that meant “land.”

2. Fritz Is Short for Frederick

Fritz is short for Frederick. In turn, Frederick is a Germanic name that comes from Fridurih, which consists of the two elements frid and rik. Frid means “peace,” while rik means “ruler.”

3. His Hometown Is Omaha

It is interesting to note that Fritz has stated that his hometown is Omaha, which is the biggest of the cities that can be found in the state of Nebraska. Not coincidentally, Omaha is where the current headquarters of Union Pacific Railroad can be found.

4. Studied at Bucknell University

For his bachelor’s degree, Fritz studied at Bucknell University. Said school is a private liberal arts college that is situated in the borough of Lewisburg in the state of Pennsylvania. Even now, Bucknell University is named for a man named William Bucknell, who is remembered because his donation of $50,000 in 1881 saved the school from financial ruin.

5. Studied at Northwestern University

Later, Fritz studied for his MBA at Northwestern University, which can be found in the city of Evanston in the state of Illinois. Northwestern University has a reputation for offering selective undergraduate programs, but its graduate schools in law, journalism, medicine, music, and management have solid reputations as well. It is named thus because it was meant to serve the Northwest Territory, which encompassed not just what is now the state of Illinois but another four states as well as some parts of a fifth state.

6. Has Business Experience from Elsewhere

Union Pacific isn’t the first place where Fritz has been employed. Before he was at Union Pacific, Fritz worked at both General Electric and Coopers Industries, meaning that he brought a fair amount of business experience with him when he moved on over to Union Pacific in 2000.

7. Has Filled a Number of Senior Roles Before Becoming CEO

Before he became CEO of Union Pacific in 2015, Fritz filled a number of senior roles. Said roles included a number of vice presidential positions. Moreover, he served as the COO, which is a high-ranking position that oversees a corporation’s business operations.

8. Member of U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Fritz is a member of the United States Chamber of Commerce. Despite its name, interested individuals should not mistake said organization for being a governmental agency, seeing as how it is a U.S. lobbying group that exists for the purpose of promoting the interests of American businesses. In fact, it is the single biggest U.S. lobbying group when counted using their annual spending by a significant margin, while the next biggest U.S. lobbying group has seen a fair amount of variation from year to year.

9. Was Optimistic about Trump Administration’s Position on NAFTA

In 2017, Fritz was known to have expressed optimism that the Trump administration’s efforts regarding NAFTA would result in a more effective trade deal with Canada and Mexico. It was an interesting position for him to take, particularly since he had previously expressed disappointment at the United States’s decision to pull out of the TPP.

10. Has Spoken Out in Defense of Free Trade

More recently, Fritz has spoken out in defense of free trade, which seems to have been motivated in significant part by the tariff battles as well as various other trade disruptions that have been happening for some time. This position is unsurprising because as Fritz has noted, Union Pacific is like a lot of other U.S. companies in that its operations have a huge reliance on free trade.


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