Canadian Pacific (CP) said today it has named Keith Creel president and chief operating officer, reuniting him with CP's CEO, E. Hunter Harrison, and signaling that Creel is the next in line to succeed Harrison when he eventually steps down.
Creel, 45, was hired from CP's arch-rival Canadian National Railway Co., where he had been executive vice president and COO since 2010. Harrison was CN's president and CEO until he retired in December 2009. He was brought out of retirement in mid-2012 to become CP's president, CEO, and COO.
Under the new management structure, Harrison will remain as CP's CEO, the company said.
"I have worked with many talented operating people in this industry over the last four decades, and Keith is by far one of the best young operating talents that I have ever seen," Harrison said in a statement. Creel has been in railroading for more than 20 years.
John Larkin, transport analyst at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., said that Creel is the "ideal person" to ultimately succeed Harrison, noting that the two have worked together for many years.