Hunter Harrison, CSX CEO and former head of CP Rail and CN Rail, dies at 73

Hunter Harrison, CSX CEO and former head of CP Rail and CN Rail, dies at 73

Hunter Harrison, the CEO of railroad giant CSX and the former head of Canada’s two largest railways, has died. He was 73 years old.

CSX confirmed Harrison’s death in a statement released Saturday, saying his death was caused by “unexpectedly severe complications” from a recent illness.

CSX shares fell sharply on Thursday when the company announced Harrison was taking an unexpected leave of absence due to a medical condition.

The company did not disclose the nature of the illness but his interim replacement, chief operating officer Jim Foote, told analysts that Harrison had made “astonishing” progress in changing the CSX corporate culture.

Harrison was a long-time railroad executive who was known for being a turnaround expert in his industry.

He was hired by CSX in March under shareholder pressure, after spending several years as boss at both CN Rail and CP Rail.

He was credited with generating significant profits at both Canadian rail companies by employing tighter train schedules and lean expenses through a management philosophy known as “precision scheduled railroading.”

The Wall Street Journal reported in May that Harrison often worked from home and occasionally used oxygen because of an undisclosed health issue.

Published at Sat, 16 Dec 2017 15:59:09 -0500