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CSXT's Crown retires; Ward assumes top operating officer duties


CSX Transportation Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Alan Crown has retired, ending his 37-year career with the railroad. On Sept. 11, CSX Corp. Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Ward announced he immediately assumed Crown's responsibilities.

"Because CSX is now largely a rail-based company, I will be getting even closer to our operations, our customers and our employees," said Ward in a prepared statement. "We are going to sharpen our focus on service to our customers, productivity and process improvement. Working together, we will return to and ultimately surpass our best historical service levels."

CSXT has no plans to change its management team in the foreseeable future and no COO candidate in mind, says Adam Hollingsworth, CSXT vice president of corporate communications and public affairs, adding that Senior Vice President-Transportation James Fallon, SVP-Service Design Franklin Pursley and SVP-Advanced Operations Technologies Michael Cantrell now will report to Ward.

"Taking an active role in rail operations is consistent with the type of leader Michael Ward is — he's a hands-on guy," he says. "By having three senior officers directly report to him, Ward will have an even more hands-on role in the management of rail operations."

After a stint in the U.S. Air Force, Crown joined CSXT in 1966 as a yard clerk, later serving as a yardmaster and trainmaster. In 1981, he was named manager of car distribution, eventually working his way up to director of car distribution. Between 1985 and 1996, Crown served as superintendent of operations, assistant general manager-power utilization, divisional manager and regional general manager.

In 1996, he was named chief operations officer-C&O business unit, later serving as the unit's vice president and general manager. In 1999, Crown began serving as VP of the Central Region and in 2000, he was named SVP of transportation. He was promoted to EVP and COO in February.

"Al Crown made many important contributions to this company over his long career [and] was instrumental in turning rail operations around after the Conrail integration," said Ward. "[His] commitment and energy, especially his dedication to safety, are widely known and respected."

Crown, 55, also served as vice chairman of CSXT's safety and operations maintenance committee. He serves as a member of Conrail's advisory board and board of directors; board member of Transportation Technology Center Inc., Cleveland Terminal & Valley Railroad, and Akron & Barberton Belt Railroad Co.; and board trustee of United Way of Northeast Florida.

Jeff Stagl

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/12/2003