Canadian Pacific CEO Harrison to leave early

Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:58pm EST
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By Allison Lampert

(Reuters) - Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd (CP.TO: Quote) (CP.N: Quote), Canada's No. 2 railroad operator, said on Wednesday its chief executive would leave five months earlier than originally expected and it reported a lower-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit.

Hunter Harrison will officially step down on Jan. 31 and be replaced by Chief Operating Officer Keith Creel.

Last April, a company spokesman said Harrison planned to serve out his contract ending in June 2017.

A source familiar with the matter said Harrison and former Pershing Square Capital partner Paul Hilal were in the final stages of working out an agreement for an activist stake in U.S. railroad CSX Corp. (CSX.O: Quote)

A spokesman for CSX declined to comment on market speculation.

CP declined on Wednesday to give details on Harrison's retirement plans or the terms of a separation agreement reached with the railroad veteran.

According to a CP statement, Harrison asked CP's board for an arrangement "that would allow him to pursue opportunities involving other Class 1 Railroads."

Harrison also got a "limited waiver" of his non-compete obligations and forfeited C$118 million in benefits, CP said.   Continued...

CEO Hunter Harrison of CP answers shareholders questions during the company's annual general meeting in Calgary, Alberta, May 14, 2015. REUTERS/Todd Korol