OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Canadian National railroad on Tuesday named a new CEO and also reached an agreement with the investment fund that has been pushing it to focus more on cutting costs and streamlining its operations.
The Montreal-based railroad said Tracy Robinson will take over the top job. She will replace retiring CEO JJ Ruest, who announced he would step down after CN failed to acquire Kansas City Southern railroad last year.
Robinson is currently an executive at pipeline firm TC Energy but previously spent 27 years working at rival Canadian Pacific railroad.
“This is a transformational period at CN, and I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities ahead," Robinson said in a statement.
London-based investment firm TCI Fund Management, meanwhile, agreed to drop its demand for a special shareholder meeting. The move came after the railroad agreed to work with the firm, which owns 5% of CN’s stock, to appoint two new independent directors with railroad experience to CN's board. TCI had nominated four new directors.
Last fall, Canadian National lost out in the bidding for Kansas City Southern after regulators rejected part of CN’s acquisition plan. Instead, Kansas City Southern went with a rival $31 billion buyout offer from Canadian Pacific even though that offer was lower than CN’s $33.6 billion offer.
Canadian National is one of the largest railroads in North America and it operates nearly 20,000 miles (32,000 kilometers) of track crossing Canada and crossing the U.S. Midwest south to the Gulf Coast.