CSX CEO Hunter Harrison Dead, Days After Medical Leave

Just two days after taking medical leave from his role as CEO of CSX, the company has confirmed 73-year-old Hunter Harrison has passed away.

Hunter Harrison, CEO of rail company CSX, has passed away, the company confirmed in a statement Saturday.

"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," the company said.

Harrison had taken medical leave on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Jim Foote has been named acting CEO in the wake of Hunter's passing, according to CSX board chairman Edward Kelly.

"With the passing of Hunter Harrison, CSX has suffered a major loss," Kelly said. "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," Kelly said.

Harrison, who turned around three railroad carriers during a five-decade career before being tapped by CSX Corp. to improve the company’s lackluster performance, had heart bypass surgery in 1998, occasionally used a portable oxygen tank to treat shortness of breath.

His reputation among analysts and investors was so strong that CSX shares jumped 23 percent on a single day in January 2017 when reports emerged that Harrison was in talks to take the helm. Shares fell almost 8 percent when the company announced his medical leave.

His health emerged as a concern for investors after he joined Canadian Pacific. In 2015, Harrison contracted pneumonia and missed several weeks of work after undergoing surgery to have stents implanted in his legs. In 2017, before being appointed by CSX, he turned down the company’s request that an independent physician designated by the board review his medical records.

Harrison and his wife, Jeannie, had two children.


Delving Eye peddling-fiction Sat, 12/16/2017 - 16:49 Permalink

He lived in my town, owned a huge horse farm (Double H Farm) so his daughter could ride. Several stunning houses and mahogany  stables with floors you could eat off of. Stone walls galore. Absolutely no money spared. They moved to Florida a few years ago, again for daughter's riding. Put horse farm on the market for $55Million. No buyers. Broke up the property to try and sell individual parcels. Still no takers. Bet the price drops pretty quick now.

In reply to by peddling-fiction

pndr4495 Sat, 12/16/2017 - 15:23 Permalink

Another confirmation that no matter the money, power, fame or anything else held sacred on this planet, NOBODY can buy themselves out of a coffin.

junction Rainman Sat, 12/16/2017 - 17:02 Permalink

Hunter was good for CSX stock but a disaster at running a railroad.  News reports about CSX operations were all about rail customers who were dissatisfied with the rotten freight service they were getting after Hunter closed down as many shipping facilities as he could.  Finally in Hell, Hunter is getting the equivalent of an inside look at the fire chamber of a steam engine.

In reply to by Rainman

newdoobie junction Sun, 12/17/2017 - 07:05 Permalink

Have to disagree with you, could have kept some ramps open (maybe) The good thing is that workers engineers and conductors now work 8 hours on a shift. No more working 2 to 4 hours and getting paid for 8.there was bound to be some screw ups the way he implemented change, however, its nice to see management types get fired for incompetence.

In reply to by junction

wisehiney Sat, 12/16/2017 - 15:52 Permalink

circa 1970     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZoN0-OyqQQAin't gonna ride that whisky trainAin't gonna burn up no more flameThrow away my bottle down the drainAin't gonna ride that whisky trainTo think that I could be so wrongTo be so sick and still go onThe way I drink it's been too longDon't see much point in carrying onI'm gonna lose these drinking bluesI'm gonna find a girl to make me chooseBetween lovin' her and drinking boozeI'm gonna lose these drinking bluesAin't gonna ride that whisky trainI'm tired of burning in the flameThrow away my bottle down the drainAin't gonna ride that whisky train (Thanks Procol Harum)

pitz Sat, 12/16/2017 - 16:57 Permalink

He sure cleaned up some of the institutional laziness at CP, that's for sure.  Trains that would sit for hours being refuelled and re-crewed are now re-dispatched in a fraction of the time.  But there was a lot of bullying that was introduced into the culture at both CN and CP apparently.  And long-term infrastructure maintenance was cut to the bone with almost disastrous consequences in a few incidents.

PotusNextus Sat, 12/16/2017 - 18:10 Permalink

Hunter was running CSX into the ground and pissing off all their customers not providing services in the name of 'stream lining' best way to get rid of him PR wise was murder/died of complications him....