CSX CEO Michael Ward leaves

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After around 14 years on the job
  • Laud, praise, thanks and good wishes for Ward
  • No successor named

(management-change.com) — Jacksonville, Florida, February 21, 2017 — This news came the day after Presidents Day. Michael Ward, chief executive of CSX, leaves. As announced by CSX Corporation in a news release on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, Michael J. Ward, Chief Executive Officer, leaves the U.S. railroad operator after around 14 years on the job, effective May 31, 2017.

It is the end of an era.

CSX did not name a replacement for the position of Chief Executive Officer.

The move is part of a management shake-up.

CSX also announced the decision of 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 Gooden, who will assume the role of Vice Chairman until his retirement. Eliasson will maintain his current responsibilities in his new position.

“Part of an orderly transition of the company’s senior leadership that the Board has been considering for more than a year”

The management change is explained as follows. CSX said: “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.”

CSX added: “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.”


CSX said: “CSX Corporation (CSX) today announced the decisions of Michael J. Ward, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer … to retire from the Company effective May 31, 2017.”

Precise information about the future plans of Ward was not immediately available.

Share price rise since January 2016

The change follows a rise in the share price of CSX Corporation since January 2016.

On the job as CEO since 2003

Ward is chairman and chief executive officer and a 39-year company veteran.

“Under his leadership, the company continues to achieve record safety performance while supporting customer growth and posting strong financial results for shareholders,” CSX says on its website.

Ward was named president of CSX Transportation in 2000, elected to the Board of Directors in 2002, and appointed chairman and chief executive officer in January 2003.

Ward has held executive positions in nearly all aspects of the company’s business, including sales and marketing, operations and finance.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Michael J. Ward’s move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by management-change.com suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the management-change.com report 09.2017 ($).