E. Hunter Harrison
E. Hunter Harrison (born 1944), is a railroad executive who has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) since June 29, 2012.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Harrison began his railroad career in 1964 while attending University in Memphis when he worked as a carman-oiler for the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway. Harrison was later promoted to an operator position with the "Frisco" and, later, with Burlington Northern Railroad (BN) following that company's acquisition of the Frisco in 1980. Harrison was consistently promoted at BN, eventually being appointed Vice-President - Transportation as well as Vice-President - Service Design.
Harrison left BN in 1989 to join the executive team at the Illinois Central Railroad (IC), first as Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, culminating with his appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer from 1993 to 1998. Following the acquisition of IC by Canadian National Railway (CN) in 1998, Harrison was appointed Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer by CN. Upon the retirement of Paul Tellier, Harrison was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of CN on January 1, 2003, serving in that position until his retirement on December 31, 2009. During his time at CN, Harrison was named Railroader of the Year for 2002 by industry trade journal Railway Age as well as CEO of the Year for 2007 by the Globe and Mail Report on Business. On April 29, 2009, CN announced the company's plan for succession in Harrison's position by appointing Claude Mongeau as his successor effective January 1, 2010.
Following his service at CN, Harrison retired to his estate in Connecticut where he raises and trains horses for show jumping. Bound by a non-competition clause with CN, Harrison maintained a low profile serving as a director for the Belt Railway of Chicago as well as Dynegy Holdings LLC.
In fall 2011, Harrison was approached by the hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management led by activist investor Bill Ackman which was undertaking a proxy battle with the board of directors of Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). Ackman had offered at that time to appoint Harrison as President and Chief Executive Officer of CPR should his proxy battle in spring 2012 be successful, which would also result in the termination of Fred Green as President and CEO. Ackman was ultimately successful in the proxy battle at the CPR's annual shareholder meeting on May 17, 2012. Canadian National Railway Co. Monday halted nearly $40-million in benefits to be paid to its former chief executive, Hunter Harrison, after launching a lawsuit alleging he may have breached, or intends to breach, several confidentiality agreements with the railroad dating back to his retirement in 2009.
In the suit launched Monday, CN’s board of directors said it had grounds to believe Mr. Harrison may have violated his commitments to CN as part of push by activist shareholder William Ackman and his New York-based hedge fund, Pershing Capital Management LLC, to see Mr. Harrison replace Fred Green as CEO of rival Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.
“CN has a reasonable basis to believe, from the public statements made by Harrison and others in the press, from admissions made by Harrison himself to CN, and from other information, that Harrison was in breach of his non-disclosure and non-compete undertakings sometime in 2011,” the suit launched in the U.S. District Court states. “If Harrison were to accept a position at CP, he would be in unquestionable breach of his non-compete undertakings,” CN added.
On June 29, 2012, Harrison was appointed President and CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway.
- "Investor 500". Canadian National Railway Co. Retrieved November 14, 2006.
- "E. Hunter Harrison". CBR.ca. Retrieved November 14, 2006.
- Canadian National Railway (December 13, 2002). "CN names E. Hunter Harrison president and chief executive officer". Retrieved February 10, 2006.[dead link]
- "CN Board of Directors approves one-year contract extension for company’s president and chief executive officer" (Press release). Canadian National Railway. November 30, 2006. Retrieved December 11, 2006.
- Associated Press (April 29, 2009). "CN names replacement for promoted CFO". Forbes.com. Retrieved April 30, 2009.[dead link]
- ‘High probability’ ex-CNR head would take CP helm | Transportation | News | Financial Post
- As Harrison takes CP’s top job, Ackman’s coup is complete - The Globe and Mail
|President of Illinois Central Railroad
1993 – 1998
|purchase by Canadian National Railway|
Mike Haverty (ATSF, KCS)
|Railroader of the Year
Richard K. Davidson (UP)
|President of Canadian National Railway
2003 – 2009
|President & CEO of Canadian Pacific
2012 – present