John Newman is president and chief executive officer of Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company, and a senior vice president of Caterpillar Inc. He is responsible for one of the largest integrated, diversified providers of rolling stock and infrastructure solutions and technologies for the global rail industry.
Newman joined Caterpillar in 2011 as an attorney with the Legal Services Division, supporting Progress Rail. He later joined Progress Rail’s commercial team as regional director of Sub-Saharan Africa, based in Pretoria, South Africa, and the company’s strategic sales director. In 2015, Newman was promoted to senior vice president of corporate services, responsible 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.
Before joining Caterpillar, he 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, focusing on business planning, mergers and acquisitions, economic development, and antitrust matters.
Newman 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 juris doctorate, cum laude, from the University of Alabama.
Outside the office, he has served on the board of directors of the Business Council of Alabama, the Marshall County Economic Development Council, and the Arthritis Foundation’s Southeast region.