Locally-based railroad giant CSX named their new Chief Executive Officer as E. Hunter Harrison, the company announced Monday evening after several media reports on the subject.

Harrison is replacing Michael Ward, who announced he was leaving as chairman and CEO back on February 21, to become a consultant to the company.

Harrison will be working with Paul Hilal and his investment firm Mantle Ridge LP to reconstruct the company's Board of Directors. The pair reached an agreement and five new directors will be appointed by both CSX and Mantle Ridge, the company says.

RELATED | Management layoffs have begun at CSX

Three board members are expected to step down before the company's annual 2017 meeting bringing the number of directors on the board to 13.

Prior to coming onto CSX, Harrison ran the Canadian National Railway Company from 2012 to January 18 of this year when he reportedly abruptly resigned. Harrison is known in the railway business as a turnaround specialist who improves companies' bottom lines by reducing workforce.

Harrison's hiring comes just days after the company announced it would be cutting about 1,000 management positions at the Jacksonville-based headquarters. The company says the layoffs will happen in March - two employees spoke to First Coast News and confirmed the layoffs have already started. The company says they will implement a program to give impacted laid off employees enhanced severance pay and pension benefits.