An activist hedge fund investor said he will wage a proxy battle to replace the top leadership of Canadian Pacific Railway after the railroad's directors rejected his attempt to tap a former Canadian National Railway CEO as chief, according to published reports.
William Ackman, principal of Pershing Square Capital Management, wants to replace Fred Green with Hunter Harrison, who helped Canadian National become one of the most profitable railroads in North America.
CP directors unanimously rejected Ackman’s attempt and said Green has the board’s “full support” in executing the railroad’s plan “to achieve a low 70s operating ration in the next three years.”
“We have a legendary CEO with an incredible track record,” Ackman told the New York Times. “Who better to bring an underperforming competitor up to snuff?”
Ackman, whose firm is the railroad’s largest shareholder, said he expects Harrison’s past performance will convince shareholders to replace the 15-member board at the next annual meeting. The meeting hasn’t been announced but last year’s took place in May.