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CSX's board has unanimously appointed James Foote president and chief executive officer, the company announced late last week.
Foote succeeds E. Hunter Harrison, who died Dec. 16 shortly after taking medical leave. Harrison had led the Class I since March. Foote — who joined CSX in October as executive vice president and chief operating officer — served as acting CEO in Harrison’s absence.
Foote has more than 40 years of rail industry experience in finance, operations, and sales and marketing. Prior to joining CSX, he was president and CEO of Bright Rail Energy.
"While we continue to mourn the loss of Hunter Harrison, the board is pleased to announce Jim Foote as his successor. Jim has decades of railroading experience and the board is confident of his ability to lead the company," said CSX Chairman Edward Kelly III in a press release.
Foote previously was EVP of sales and marketing for CN, which he joined in 1995 as VP of investor relations to assist with the company’s privatization. He also served CN as VP of sales and marketing merchandise.
"I worked alongside Hunter for over a decade and his pioneering approach to railroading unlocked significant efficiencies and value, and we remain focused on delivering on this vision for CSX, our customers and our shareholders," said Foote. "The execution of precision scheduled railroading is well underway, with the most critical components of the implementation completed and beginning to generate measurable operating improvement."