CSX Board Chairman Edward J. Kelly III announced his retirement effective January 2019, following the release of the company’s fourth quarter earnings.
Kelly has been a board member since 2002, and became chairman in March 2017, the Jacksonville-based company said.
The Board has elected John J. Zillmer as Chairman, effective upon Kelly’s retirement.
“On behalf of the Board and all CSX employees, I would like to thank Ned for his extraordinary leadership, dedication and contributions to CSX,” said James M. Foote, President and Chief Executive. “His stalwart service to CSX has guided us with exceptional skill through many turbulent moments.”
“Particularly over these past two unprecedented years, Ned’s leadership has been principled, judicious, and no less than extraordinarily consequential,” said Paul C. Hilal, founder and CEO of investment fund Mantle Ridge and Vice Chairman of the Board. “We are indebted for his stepping up to extend his service through this critical period, and will miss him.”
Activist investor Hilal helped engineer sweeping changes in CSX leadership, bringing in Hunter Harrison as CEO in 2017. Zillmer joined the board at that time.
“It has been an honor and privilege to be a part of the CSX board of directors and have the opportunity to serve this great company, its employees and stockholders,” Kelly said. “CSX has made great progress under the leadership of Jim and his management team, as they continue to pursue the vision and execute the plan established by the late Hunter Harrison.”