CSX Corporation (NASDAQ: CSX) announced the decisions of Michael J. Ward, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Clarence W. Gooden, President, to retire from the Company effective May 31, 2017. Fredrik J. Eliasson, a 22-year veteran of the Company and its current Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, has been appointed as President of CSX effective February 15, 2017, replacing Mr. Gooden, who will assume the role of Vice Chairman until his retirement. Mr. Eliasson will maintain his current responsibilities in his new position. The changes are part of an orderly transition of the company’s senior leadership that the Board has been considering for more than a year. The appointment of Mr. Eliasson as President is not intended to preempt or otherwise affect any discussions CSX may continue to have with Mr. Hunter Harrison and Mantle Ridge regarding Mr. Harrison becoming the CEO at CSX.
“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 Mr. 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.”
“On behalf of CSX’s Board of Directors, I want to thank Michael and Clarence for their many years of dedicated service and contributions to our Company,” said Edward J. Kelly, III, CSX’s Presiding Director. “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. We wish both the best in their retirements.”
Mr. Eliasson commented, “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.”
Mr. Eliasson, 46, has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at CSX since September 2015, where he is responsible for overseeing all customer service activities, growing rail-served markets and developing strategic plans for long-term revenue growth at the Company. He was previously CSX’s Chief Financial Officer, from 2012 to 2015, and he has held several leadership roles across the Company’s finance and sales and marketing departments since joining CSX in 1995.