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CSX shakes up operations in wake of 'challenging period'

Jacksonville-based company breaks management into East, West divisions

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In the wake of a "challenging period" for employees and customers that included several rounds of layoffs, CSX Corporation announced Tuesday that it will be restructuring its operations.

The Jacksonville-based company never said exactly how many jobs were eliminated in multiple rounds of layoffs but did indicate it wants to have a workforce of only 21,000 employees by the end of 2020.

Those employees will be working under a new management system that includes the creation of an East and West structure. Leaders in those divisions will be responsible for all three major railroad operations: transportation, mechanical and engineering.

CSX said the changes will improve safety and service, help decision-making happen more quickly, and increase operating efficiency.

“This is a proven model that pushes decision making closer to the day-to-day field operations and eliminates bureaucracy and long-standing silos within our business,” said James M. Foote, CSX president and chief executive officer. 

Foote took the helm of the company after the death of CEO Hunter Harrision.

CSX said that as part of the new operating management structure four vice presidents have been moved into new leadership roles, and all will report to Ed Harris, the executive vice president of operations for CSX:

  • Bob Frulla – Senior Vice President, Operations East (previously senior VP of network operations)
  • Jermaine Swafford – Senior Vice President, Operations West (previously senior VP and chief transportation officer)
  • Jamie Boychuk - Senior Vice President, Network Operations (previously VP of precision scheduled railroading implementation and intermodal operations)
  • Amy Rice – Vice President, Intermodal Operations (previously VP of strategic planning)

“This new structure highlights the strength of CSX’s extremely talented operating leadership team and will enable the company to continue driving performance improvements in a more effective and efficient way,” Foote said.

Under the new structure, support functions, including human resources, labor relations, claims and finance employees, will be embedded in the day-to-day field operations of the railroad. CSX leaders said that shift will improve the speed of decision making and enhance accountability.

“We are making a fundamental shift from a headquarters-centric organization to one in which all functions are aligned with our core mission to provide the industry’s best transportation product for our customers,” Foote said.

Other highlights CSX listed for the new structure:

  • Oversight of safety programs, policies and practices will fall under the leadership of Jim Schwichtenberg, Vice President and Chief Safety Officer, with resources also embedded in the field.
  • Network-focused functions will remain centralized including service design, dispatching, crew management, positive train control and locomotive and car management.
  • System engineering and mechanical including locomotive shops, capital projects, back shop maintenance, communications and signals, design and construction, and regulatory compliance will fall under Brian Barr, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Mechanical.