January 25, 2017 / 5:38 PM / 2 years ago

Exclusive: CSX top shareholder wants ex-Canadian Pacific boss as company CEO

(Reuters) - A top shareholder of CSX Corp (CSX.O) said on Wednesday it would like Hunter Harrison, the former Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd (CP.TO) chief executive officer who has partnered with activist investor Paul Hilal, to be the next head of the U.S. rail company.

Mutual fund manager Neuberger Berman Group LLC [NUBRM.UL], CSX’s tenth largest shareholder, said Harrison has a proven track record of improving railroads and would be a great CEO for the company.

“I think it’s a win-win. He’s demonstrated, time and again, a unique gift to run a railroad,” said Sandy Pomeroy, a portfolio manager at Neuberger Berman, which owned 1.2 percent of CSX shares as of Sept. 30.

“It’s hard to imagine he can’t go into CSX and improve operations faster,” Pomeroy added.

A CSX spokesman said the company welcomed the views of all of its shareholders.

“(CSX’s) board and management team remain supportive of the company’s strategic growth strategy, which has started to deliver sustainable value for shareholders,” the CSX spokesman said.

Hilal was a partner at activist investor Pershing Square until starting his own fund, Mantle Ridge LP, last year.

Reporting by Michael Flaherty in New York and Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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