- CSX Corp. is making more changes, replacing two top executives with a single COO from CEO Hunter Harrison’s past, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
- Both Cindy Sanborn, the current COO, and Fredrik Eliasson, the chief sales and marketing officer, will be replaced next month by James Foote, who previously served as head of sales and marketing at Canadian National Railway from 2003-2009, during Mr. Harrison's tenure there.
- Mr. Harrison believes that Foote's understanding and experience with his precision scheduled railroading philosophy will serve the company well. In other CSX changes, the company recently announced it intends to buy back $1.5 billion in shares.
It's been a bumpy ride at CSX since Hunter Harrison came on board.
Thousands of layoffs and a demoralized remaining staff have become routine during the implementation of Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR) at CSX. At one point, CEO Hunter Harrison blamed remaining workers for allegedly sabotaging his plan, complaining they were guilty of "push back" as a result of his changes. Finally, with complaints within the industry growing rife, a hearing by the Surface Transportation Board was called, at which Harrison apologized to unhappy line customers, admitting to mistakes.
Now, two weeks after that apology, CSX is adjusting its management roster. In a move indicative of PSR itself, two jobs will soon be done by one person: a colleague hailed as a long-time proponent of PSR. While it's unclear whether the move will help restore customer satisfaction, the move indicates CSX is still committed to PSR and Harrison's leadership.