May 28 (Reuters) - Norfolk Southern has named former Canadian National Railway CEO Claude Mongeau as the new chair of its board, effective immediately, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

A veteran railroad executive, Mongeau has been on Norflok's board since 2019 and replaces previous board chair Amy Miles, who shareholders ousted earlier this month.

The Atlanta-Georgia-based freight railroad also saw off an activist investor campaign led by hedge fund Ancora Holdings at the same shareholder meeting

earlier in May

, winning 10 of 13 seats on the board.

Mongeau has previously served in various executive positions at Canadian National, where he drove a customer-centric PSR (precision scheduled railroading) approach.

There is an "urgency around enhancing service, improving network operations, and broad-based productivity gains to close the gap with our peers," he said in statement.

The company

last week

agreed to pay $15 million in civil penalties and $57.1 million in past government cleanup costs, related to its derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, in February last year, taking the total charges around derailment to $1.7 billion. (Reporting by Abhinav Parmar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Tasim Zahid)