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By Eric M. Johnson
Dec 15 (Reuters) - Acting CSX Corp Chief Executive Officer James Foote said on Friday he would run the No. 3 U.S. railroad in same manner as Hunter Harrison while its famed top executive is on medical leave due to an unspecified illness.
On a conference call with analysts following the late Thursday announcement of Harrison’s leave, Foote offered no timeline for Harrison’s return but said he would “drive forward” to run the company like him.
CSX shares fell 10.3 percent to $51.42 in premarket trading. At Thursday’s close, they had risen 15.8 percent since March, when Harrison took the helm.
Investors have had high hopes that Harrison, who is famous for leading turnarounds of Canadian railroads, would increase profits at the company, which has been dogged for months by customer complaints, persistent service issues and increased federal scrutiny.
Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Lisa Von Ahn