CSX CEO Hunter Harrison Has Died

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CSX ( CSX ) announced Saturday that CEO Hunter Harrison has died from “severe complications” from an undisclosed illness. CSX said late Thursday that Harrison, a widely revered industry veteran, was taking medical leave.

[ibd-display-video id=3025896 width=50 float=left autostart=true] “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.”

Hunter, 73, was named CEO in March at the urging of activist investors. CSX shares plunged 7.6% to 52.93 on Friday’s stock market trading on word of his leave of absence, making it the biggest loser on the S&P 500 index that day. That also pushed the stock below a recent 55.09 buy point but closing just above its 50-day moving average.

Harrison’s death could put further pressure on CSX’s stock on Monday.

Chairman Edward Kelly said in a statement: “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.”

Harrison previously served as CEO of Canadian National Railway ( CNI ) and Canadian Pacific Railway ( CP ).

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