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CSX Corp. yesterday issued a statement in response to reports that Canadian Pacific Chief Executive Officer E. Hunter Harrison is retiring early to join an activist investor in an attempt to shake up CSX management.Harrison was scheduled to retire in July, but CP announced Wednesday that he would retire Jan. 31 to "pursue opportunities" at other Class Is. Various news media reported that Harrison is working on an agreement with investor Paul Hilal to secure a senior management position at CSX. Hilal left Pershing Square Capital Management in 2016 to start his own fund, Mantle Ridge LP.In 2012, Pershing Square and Harrison worked together to remove CP's previous CEO in a proxy fight.Yesterday, CSX spokesman Gary Sease issued this statement: "CSX Corp. welcomes the views of all of our shareholders and always considers their thoughts on the company's business strategy. Likewise, its board and management team remain supportive of the company's strategic growth strategy, which has started to deliver sustainable value for shareholders."The company and its board of directors will actively evaluate Mantle Ridge's views and look forward to discussing our core strategy to continue driving earnings growth and shareholder value going forward with Mantle Ridge and all our shareholders."
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