Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Canadian Pacific Railway CEO Green is out following proxy vote by company’s largest shareholder

By Staff
May 17, 2012

Class I railroad carrier Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. said ahead of its annual shareholder meeting earlier today that Fred Green, president and CEO, has left the company.

This move comes in the wake of a proxy vote by activist investor Bill Ackman, head of Pershing Square Capital Management, and the single largest CP shareholder with a 14.1 percent stake in the company.

Green also stepped down as a CP director along with CP Chairman of the Board John Cleghorn and four other directors. And when Pershing Square nominates its seven director nominees there will be 16 available candidates for the 16 available board positions, the company said.

Tension between CP and Pershing Square had been brewing for several months, with Ackman calling for a proxy vote when the CP board declined to replace Green as CEO, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The report noted that Ackman laid blame on Green and the board member that have left for fledgling efficiency and stock market performance over the last six years. It has been widely speculated that Ackman plans to tab Hunter Harrison, former CEO of Canadian National Railway as Green’s replacement. Harrison stepped down from CN in 2009 and served in his role there for seven years and was widely known for his focus on “precision railroading,” which requires cargo to be ready when rail cars arrive for loading or risk being left behind, the Journal said.

A Globe and Mail report said that in recent weeks Ackman had gathered tremendous support from CP shareholders and proxy advisory firms to elect a dissident slate of seven directors, which would lead to management changes and cost-cutting at CP, which the report observed “is underperforming its peers.”

CP’s first quarter operating ratio was 80.1 percent, whereas most other Class I railroads operating ratios are in the 60s.

On May 9, CP said that it was successfully executing on its Multi-Year Plan, which was focused on driving operational improvements, and it highlighted some of the inroads the company had made, including: a 45 percent improvement per car miles per day to an all time record; a 23 percent improvement in terminal dwell time to an all time record, and a 25 percent improvement in train speed, among others.

CP said at the time the its board “unanimously believes Pershing Square’s demand that the Company replace Fred Green with Hunter Harrison would delay and damage CP’s value-generating plan, and put the progress and momentum the Company has built at significant risk.”

It added that Pershing Square admitted that this plan amounts to nothing more than replacing one CEO with another, adding that Pershing Square’s nominees have failed to provide any strategic or operational plan that would lead to an improved operating ratio or achieve the unprecedented or unrealistic rate of operating ratio reduction that Pershing Square has promised to shareholders. 

Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

UPS today announced diluted earnings per share of $1.32 for the third quarter 2014, a 13.8% improvement over the prior year period. Operating profit increased 8.3%, resulting from balanced growth across all three segments.

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that U.S. trade with its North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico increased 4.4 percent from August 2013 to August 2014 at $100.6 billion.

As expected, global trade dipped from August to September but still saw annual gains, according to data issued this week by Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers.

Transportation and logistics merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the third quarter saw annual gains, which were driven by smaller deals in the trucking logistics, shipping, and passenger air sectors, according to data issued in the Intersections report by PwC this week.

With the holidays rapidly approaching, it appears retailers are not quite done getting inventory set up and on the shelves in time for what is expected to be a fairly active shopping season. That much was evident based on recent data for September volumes issued by the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB).

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA