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Hunter Harrison, Canadian Pacific chief executive officer.
Hunter Harrison, Canadian Pacific chief executive officer.
(Tim Fraser For The Globe and Mail)

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Canada's rail rivals take the gloves off

Canada’s rail industry has long had the air of an old boys’ club. But with the arrival of Bill Ackman and the return of Hunter Harrison, it’s starting to look more like a bare-knuckle boxing club.

Mr. Harrison, the Canadian Pacific Railway CEO who was lured out of semi-retirement by U.S. activist investor Mr. Ackman to inject new life into a sputtering CP, on Monday reached into the senior ranks of his former employer and now chief rival, Canadian National Railway, to pluck his new chief operating officer and likely successor. Keith Creel was a protégé of Mr. Harrison’s when the latter headed up CN in the 2000s, and was CN’s COO prior to the announcement.