CSX finance chief Frank Lonergo is stepping down after 19 years at the railroad operator.
CSX gave no explanation for the departure of Lonergo, who was named CFO in September 2015 and survived a management shakeup two years ago. He will be replaced on an interim basis by Kevin Boone, a vice-president of corporate affairs and of marketing and strategy, while CSX conducts a search for a new CFO.
“Over the last few years, Frank has played a key role in helping create significant value for CSX shareholders,” CEO Jim Foote said in a news release.
Lonergo said only that it had been “a distinct privilege to work alongside the great professionals at CSX, especially through the recent transformation, which has set the company on an unparalleled path to success.”
CSX has been reducing the number of railcars it uses and moving them faster with less downtime at terminals as part of a strategy known as precision-scheduled railroading. “Other railroad companies are now starting to mimic the approach CSX started in 2017,” The Wall Street Journal said.
The company last month reported revenue rose 5% to $3.01 billion for the first quarter as it experienced growth in merchandise shipments and benefited from higher prices. Its operating ratio — the percentage of revenue consumed by operating costs — of 59.5% was a record for the first quarter and it still expects the ratio to fall below 60% this year.
“There’s lots of different things we’re doing that help reduce costs, but as you increase price through better service, that falls through to the bottom line as well,” Lonergo told the Jacksonville Business Journal last year.
Lonegro started out at CSX as assistant general counsel, going on to serve as a vice president in several divisions including internal audit, mechanical operations, and service design. In fiscal 2018, he earned total compensation of more than $3.7 million.
CSX said Boone has more than18 years of experience in finance, accounting, mergers and acquisitions, and transportation performance analysis. He worked at Janus Capital, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, and Ernst & Young before joining CSX in September 2017.