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CSX Corp. announced today that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Ward and President Clarence Gooden will retire from the company effective May 31. Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Fredrik Eliasson has been appointed president effective Feb. 15, replacing Gooden, who will assume the role of vice chairman until his retirement.Eliasson will maintain his current responsibilities in his new position. The changes are part of a senior leadership transition that CSX's board has been considering for more than a year, according to a company press release.Eliasson's appointment as president is not intended to affect discussions the company may continue to have with E. Hunter Harrison and hedge fund Mantle Ridge about the possibility of Harrison becoming the Class I's CEO, CSX officials said."Fredrik has played a vital role in CSX's progress in recent years and in the development of the next phase of its strategic plan, and he was a natural choice to help the company continue to advance its CSX of Tomorrow strategy," said Ward. "He has the vision, leadership abilities and deep understanding of our business to help CSX's future leadership achieve its long-term strategic goals."Eliasson has served as executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer at CSX since September 2015. He served as CSX's chief financial officer from 2012 to 2015, and held several leadership roles in the finance and sales and marketing departments since joining CSX in 1995."This is a dynamic and important time at CSX, and I look forward to continuing to work with the management team to implement the best ideas to drive growth across the organization and deliver a compelling future for our company and our shareholders," said Eliasson.CSX Presiding Director Edward Kelly III thanked Ward and Gooden for their decades of service."Michael has helped build CSX into one of the nation's leading transportation and logistics companies, and Clarence has similarly provided valuable leadership across CSX's sales, marketing and operations teams," Kelly said. "We wish both the best in their retirements."To learn more about the CSX of Tomorrow strategy, read this article in the November 2016 issue of Progressive Railroading.
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