In a presentation dated February 6, 2012, Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman defended his suggestion of Hunter Harrison as a candidate for CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), and the ultimate dismissal of Fred Green. Ackman upped the ante a little bit, extending his questioning of CP Rail management to the board and its stewardship of Green as CEO. With this in mind, Ackman identified a roster of Nominees for Management Change (NMC).
In the presentation, he explained that a shareholder vote for support for management change, new perspectives for the Board and “three independent Canadian directors and Board representation for a major shareholder. Ackman was careful to explain that a vote for his NMC would not mean a change of control – NMC would consist of five of 13 or 15 directors. Pershing Square would have two seats. Then, “the entire, refreshed Board will make the CEO hiring decision.” According to MarketWatch, “Pershing Square’s nominees, who will be proposed at the May 17th annual meeting of Canadian Pacific shareholders, are: Bill Ackman, Gary F. Colter, Paul G. Haggis, Paul C. Hilal, Rebecca MacDonald, Dr. Anthony R. Melman and Stephen Tobias.”
Tobias was Bill Ackman’s seventh nominee for Management Change. The news was released on April 2. Tobias comes to the table with 40 years experience at Norfolk Southern Corporation (NSC), where he spent time as the company’s COO and Vice Chairman. “NSC earned twenty consecutive Harriman Gold Medal Awards for best safety performance of any railroad in the United States, fifteen of which were earned while Tobias was COO or EVP of Operations, and five of which were earned while he was in other senior operating roles,” reports MarketWatch. “Under Tobias’ leadership, NSC enjoyed notable growth while simultaneously reducing NSC’s operating ratio by ten percentage points, during a period when NSC faced the challenge of integrating an acquisition of a substantial portion of The Consolidated Rail Corporation.”