CSX Corp. this week named E. Hunter Harrison chief executive officer, ending months of speculation he was headed for the role.
Harrison, a well-regarded railroad executive, replaces Michael Ward, who announced his decision to retire as chairman and CEO on Feb. 21. Ward will become a consultant to CSX, effective immediately.
“I am proud to join the dedicated and talented railroaders at CSX,” Harrison said in a news release. “Together, we will implement Precision Scheduled Railroading — a model proven to improve safety, create better service for customers, produce a proud and winning culture for employees, and generate exceptional, lasting value for shareholders.”
The Jacksonville, Fla.-based company also said it has reached an agreement with Mantle Ridge LP, an investment firm formed by Paul Hilal to reconstitute the company’s Board of Directors. Under the terms of the agreement, CSX appointed five new directors to its Board of Directors, mutually agreed upon by CSX and Mantle Ridge and effective immediately.
New directors are Harrison, Hilal, Dennis Reilley, Linda Riefler and John Zillmer.
In addition, three incumbent CSX directors plan to complete their service for the board at or before the conclusion of the 2017 annual meeting. As a result, the size of the board will be 13 members.
CSX’s current presiding director, Edward J. Kelly, III, will become chairman of the board, while Hilal will become vice chairman.