Transportation News

CSX CEO E. Hunter Harrison Dies at Age 73

CSX CEO Hunter Harrison has died at the age of 73, the company said Saturday, the news comes a day after CSX disclosed Harrison took a leave of absence for undisclosed medical reasons.

E.Hunter Harrison joined CSX in in April 2017 as part of activist investor Paul Hilal's efforts to shake up management at CSX.

Prior to joining CSX, Harrison solidified his legacy at the helm of Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. for five years.

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 Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP) and The Canadian National Railway Company (CN) well under his leadership.

Both companies received 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, Logistics Management reported on a CSX conference call, which included comments and analysis from acting CEO Foote.

Top Show Jumping Owner and Sponsor E.Hunter Harrison

E.Hunter Harrison’s Double H Farm owns a number of top show jumping horses, most notably McLain Ward’s 2017 Longines FEI World Cup Final winner and Olympic Games mount, HH Azur.

Harrison also owned part of Ward’s two-time team Olympic gold medal-winning mare, Sapphire, and horses like HH Carlos Z, HH Rebozo, HH Rufus, Night Train and more.

He owned a number of horses with the HH prefix for U.S. rider and son-in-law, Quentin Judge, and his daughter Cayce Harrison Judge. Harrison also owned horses for top riders like Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa and Ireland’s Darragh Kerins.

Hunter Harrison (right) and his wife Jeannie Harrison. Photo by Vicci Valenti

In addition to his support of individual riders, through Canadian National and Canadian Pacific, Harrison also provided sponsorship to some of the biggest show jumping competitions in the world, including Spruce Meadows in Canada, the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington and many other shows throughout the United States.

 

Related Article: CSX Corporation Announces New Chief Operating Officer & Executive Management Changes

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