• In Memoriam of Jim Foote

  • Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.
Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.

Moderator: MBTA F40PH-2C 1050

  by QB 52.32
April 17, 2024 – CSX is sad to share the news that Jim Foote, who served as our President and CEO from December 2017 until September 2022, has passed away. Jim's impact on CSX and the railroad industry at large was significant, spanning over four decades of dedicated service.

“Jim's leadership was instrumental in guiding CSX through a transformational period in our company’s history, advancing CSX to new heights, marked by record operating and financial performance,” said Joe Hinrichs, CSX’s current President and CEO.
https://www.csx.com/index.cfm/about-us/ ... ormat=true

I admire Mr. Foote for his leadership role in carrying out CSX's strategic laggard-to-leader transformation and execution toward growth under difficult conditions as well for the sharp inciteful commentary he provided as a voice of reason among today's railroad industry challenges and opportunities.
  by CPF66
"Labor doesn't contribute to profits" - Jim Foote

At least he can reunite with his role model, EHH now.
  by QB 52.32
What's the source for the quote you've attributed to Mr. Foote?

I do know rail labor was circulating from the Presidential Emergency Board No. 250 Report & Recommendations where the Organizations argued that the Carriers' profitability must be considered when determining an appropriate and reasonable wage increase and the Carriers' argued that, having spent 40% of their revenue on infrastructure improvements over the past 40 years, the appropriate compensation rates should be governed by the relevant labor market considerations the first line of this paragraph on page 32:
The Carriers maintain that capital investment and risk are the reasons for their profits, not any contributions by labor. The Carriers further argue that there is no correlation historically between high profits and higher compensation, either in the freight rail industry or more generally. To the contrary, one of the Carriers’ experts maintained that the most profitable companies are not those whose compensation is the highest. The Carriers assert that since employees have been fairly and adequately paid for their efforts and do not share in the downside risks if the operations are less profitable, then they have no claim to share in the upside either.
  by johnpbarlow
Excellent Bill Stephens written tribute to Jim Foote at Trains Magazine on-line (may be a pay wall?):
https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews ... -has-died/

Interesting excerpts re: how Foote rose up through the labor ranks
... Foote was a third-generation railroader. He began his career with Soo Line in 1972 at age 18, while he was still in high school.

Eric Jakubowski, a former CN executive who is chief commercial officer at short line holding company Anacostia Rail Holdings, remembers Foote’s work ethic. “Not many people realize how hard Jim worked to climb the ladder in the industry,” Jakubowski says. “He started as a car cleaner in the mechanical department. He worked nights so that he could go to school.”

... Foote, who was married with a young family, worked full-time as a hostler and machinist helper at night while earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior during the day. He later would land a day job at Chicago and North Western’s Proviso Yard in Chicago so that he could attend John Marshall Law School at night. Among his duties at Proviso: Digging ditches for signal cables and repairing the hump’s retarders.

When Foote was giving visiting executives a tour of Proviso, he struck up a conversation with CNW’s vice president of labor relations, who asked what a guy like Foote was doing working in the yard. “The next thing I know, I was manager of labor relations while still in law school,” Foote would recall.
  by BandA
Workers always share in the downside when businesses become less profitable!
  by QB 52.32
That's best factually argued in this case against the National Carriers Conference Committee of the National Railway Labor Conference and certainly not an opinion attributed to Mr. Foote as fact.

Further, as to the opinion that EHH was a role model or mentor to Mr. Foote, I think it's factually arguable that they were peers, including as to strengths and weaknesses of the human variety.

That he was able to assume within a short period of time under heavy skepticism and succeed in leading CSX as well negotiate through the tremendous challenges of an unforeseen 100-year pandemic, understanding and acting upon the mistakes made when taken in hindsight as well the impact moving forward, speaks to Mr. Foote's leadership strengths and industry insight.