Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) has appointed Stephen Tobias as interim CEO after its former chief executive Fred Green announced his departure Thursday, ending a months-long battle that pitted New York activist Bill Ackman against a board of directors stocked with leading Canadian business titans.
The railroad operator also elected a new board of 16 directors, including a slate of seven dissident directors backed by Ackam, its largest shareholder. The board will now be chaired by Madeleine Paquin.
The brief shareholder meeting followed a surprise announcement Thursday morning from CP announcing that chairman John Cleghorn, who has been among Green's most outspoken defenders, is leaving the company, along with four other Canadian Pacific directors who won't stand for re-election.
The defeat of CP's current leaders had been widely anticipated as a number of institutional fund managers disclosed they would support the nominees proposed by Ackman.
"We heard loud and clear your mandate for change and we're honored to work with the board to take this great company to even higher levels of performance and achievement," Ackman told shareholders at the meeting. "We will not make progress overnight, but we will deliver on our commitment to make this railway one of the best railways in the world."
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