Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., the second-biggest railroad in Canada, is exploring a takeover of U.S. carrier Norfolk Southern Corp. in a fresh attempt to consolidate the North American industry, according to people familiar with the matter.
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. unveiled details of its dramatically reorganized structure Wednesday, centralizing the railroad’s planning under new chief executive Hunter Harrison but also aiming to empower frontline workers to react more quickly to operational challenges and improve relations with its customers.
The unions representing CP’s workers, however, said they were still in the dark about where 4,500 job cuts, to come by 2016 under the plan, will fall.
After burning through his last set of aggressive objectives about two years ahead of schedule, Hunter Harrison said Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. needs a new five-year plan.
“There’s a lot of runway left here,” Mr. Harrison, CP’s chief executive, said on a conference call Wednesday.
TORONTO/CHICAGO — Veteran railroad boss Hunter Harrison has won over many critics since taking over as chief executive of Canadian Pacific Railway, but he still has unfinished business – creation of a consolidated North American railway – and he is running out of time to do it.
That might explain why CP, Canada’s No. 2 railway with extensive operations in the United States, and the No. 3 U.S. railway, CSX Corp, have been talking about combining, even though such a deal would face tough regulatory barriers and alarm customers.
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. said Wednesday it had extended the contract of its chief executive, Hunter Harrison, by an additional year until 2017.
“When Hunter was brought in to lead the transformational change of this iconic company, the agreement was for four years, plus an option for an additional year,” said Gary Colter, CP’s recently-appointed chairman, in a statement.
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.’s quest for a record merger depends on a blessing from the same U.S. agency that thwarted the last effort to build a transcontinental railroad.
Chief Executive Officer Hunter Harrison’s target, people familiar with the matter said, is Norfolk Southern Corp., the No. 2 carrier in the eastern U.S. Both companies rallied Monday on news of Canadian Pacific’s interest as investors savored the possible efficiencies in a coast-to-coast operation.
When Hunter Harrison retired as CEO of Canadian National Railway Co. in 2009, he planned to return to his estate in Connecticut and take it easy, focusing on charitable work, his horse-breeding business, and maybe writing a book.
But some people just aren’t very good at taking it easy. Less than two years later, Mr. Harrison was tapped by activist investor Bill Ackman to lead CN’s chief competitor, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., and he gladly accepted.
Reduce operating ratio to mid-60s by midyear 2016
Reduce workforce by 23% by 2016 – about 4,500 positions
Strategic review of western portion of DM&E and D&H
Increase average train length and weight by 30%
Move headquarters to Ogden Yard north of Calgary in early 2014
Around mid-July, just weeks after Hunter Harrison took over as chief executive of Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., the venerable railroader met with about
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.’s decision to hire away a top Canadian National Railway Co. executive came with the hefty price in the form of an agreement not to hire roughly 60 of its rivals’ top marketing and operations executives through 2016.
CP said Monday it had appointed CN’s chief operating officer, Keith Creel, as its new president, chief operating officer, and the likely successor to Hunter Harrison as its CEO.