CSX railroad CEO Harrison dies at 73

Canadian Pacific Rail

Canadian Pacific Rail

STB officials sent the letter prior to CSX's announcement that Harrison died December 16 due to "unexpectedly severe complications from a recent illness". On behalf of our Board of Directors, management team and employees, we extend our deepest sympathies to Hunter's family.

Harrison began his career in 1964 at Saint Louis-San Francisco Railway. Three top executives quit, including chief operating officer Cindy Sanborn and chief marketing officer Fredrik Eliasson. He later regained the CEO role in 2003 and remained in the role until the end of 2009.

Hunter Harrison was recently made the CEO of CSX railroad after a long history of successes in the railroad industry that started in 1963 when the then 19-year-old was squirting oil under train carriages for the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway. Before CSX hired him, he declined the company's request for an independent doctor to review his medical records.

Harrison would later say that he was not welcomed with a red carpet when he arrived due to the ouster of Ward. Kelly called Harrison's death "a major loss" to the company but said they would try to implement some of the ideas Harrison had for the railroad before his death. Transition problems had led to CSX being closely monitored by the Surface Transportation Board.

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Harrison declared that CSX largely resolved the persistent delays in September, a statement that some shippers agreed with while others dispute to this day. They also requested an in-person meeting with Foote. But questions have emerged about his health.

Mr Harrison's former employer, Canadian Pacific, said it would lower its flags to half-mast across its network. "But at the same time. this company's got to be ready to deal, and it is going to be ready to deal, without Hunter Harrison".

That move launched a quest to create a transcontinental carrier leading to a $28bn bid for Norfolk Southern in 2015, which, if successful, would have been one of the largest railroad mergers ever.

Following Thursday's announcement that Mr Harrison had been placed on medical leave, CSX's share price fell 9.6%, although it has since regained some ground.

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If you are a shareholder of CSX who purchased before Harrison's hiring and who still holds the stock, please contact us to review or discuss your legal rights.

Now the railroad carrier will turn to Foote to carry on Harrison's vision and calm any investor panic when the markets open December 18.

Mr Harrison's appointment to CSX was anything but assured, and followed protracted negotiations with investment firm Mantle Ridge formed by Paul Hilal. Jim Foote was named acting CEO.

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