CSX president and CEO E. Hunter Harrison passes away

Logistics Management regrets to report that E. Hunter Harrison, president and chief executive officer of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Class I railroad CSX passed away on Saturday December 16.

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Logistics Management regrets to report that E. Hunter Harrison, president and chief executive officer of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Class I railroad CSX passed away on Saturday December 16. He was 73. 

Harrison, who joined CSX in March, had been in the freight railroad sector for more than 50 years, and came to CSX from CP and prior to that led CN. He was widely known for his focus on “precision scheduled railroading,” which requires cargo to be ready when rail cars arrive for loading or risk being left behind, a practice that served both CP and CN well under his leadership, with both companies seeing multiple positive results in the form of lower operating ratios, improved service, record amounts of reinvestment into networks, as well as creating significant shareholder value.

On December 14, CSX said that Harrison was on medical leave, due to complications from a recent illness, and it added that COO James M. Foote had been named as acting CEO in the interim.

“It is with great sadness that we announce that E. Hunter Harrison, President and Chief Executive Officer of CSX, died today in Wellington, Fla., due to unexpectedly severe complications from a recent illness,” CSX said in a statement. “The entire CSX family mourns this loss.  On behalf of our Board of Directors, management team and employees, we extend our deepest sympathies to Hunter’s family.   Hunter was a larger-than-life figure who brought his remarkable passion, experience and energy in railroading to CSX.”

Edward J. Kelly III, Chairman of the CSX Board of Directors, said: “With the passing of Hunter Harrison, CSX has suffered a major loss.  Notwithstanding that loss, the Board is confident that Jim Foote, as acting Chief Executive Officer, and the rest of the CSX team will capitalize on the changes that Hunter has made.  The Board will continue to consider in a deliberative way how best to maximize CSX’s performance over the long term.”

On Friday, December 15, LM reported on a CSX conference call, which included comments and analysis from acting CEO Foote. For more information, please click here.


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