Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Shareholders Approve CEO Recompense; CSX Offers an $84 Million Total Package to Harrison

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Shareholders Approve CEO Recompense; CSX Offers an $84 Million Total Package to Harrison

Article excerpt

Byline: Roger Bull

CSX shareholders have overwhelmingly approved an $84 million reimbursement package for the hiring of its new chief executive officer, the Jacksonville-based railroad announced Monday.

Of that $84 million, $29 million would go directly to CEO Hunter Harrison for compensation he gave up at his previous job with Canadian Pacific Railway. The other $55 million will go to Mantle Ridge LP, which had already given the money to Harrison as part of the deal to lure him from Canadian Pacific.

It was Mantle Ridge, led by activist investor Paul Hilal, who reportedly started the move to bring Harrison to CSX in the first place. Mantle Ridge owns 4.9 percent of the company's stock.

The company said at least 93 percent of its shareholders voted in favor of the package. But the vote is non-binding and still must be approved by the board of directors. The railroad would only say the vote will take place in the next 15 days.

The railroad held its annual meeting Monday in Richmond, Va.

Though he was appointed CEO in March, Harrison had said he would resign if the reimburement package was not approved. He was signed to a four-year contract and the company has said that his total compensation could exceed $300 million.

Harrison forfeited approximately $90 million in vested and about-to-vest compensation and benefits when he departed Canadian Pacific without agreeing not to join a competing railroad.

CSX did not make a recommendation to its shareholders to approve or reject the compensation package, but in included both pros and cons in its proxy statement.

THE PROS

- Harrison's experience in turning around Illinios Central Railroad, Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific.

- His experience with implementing what's known as precision railroading.

- The fact that he forfeited so much to make the move. …

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