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Morningstar chooses CP's Harrison as top CEO of 2013

Independent investment research firm Morningstar Inc. has named Canadian Pacific's E. Hunter Harrison its "CEO of the Year" for 2013.

The firm annually recognizes a chief executive who exhibits "exemplary corporate stewardship, demonstrates independent thinking, creates lasting value for shareholders, and has put his or her stamp on an industry," Morningstar officials said in a press release.

Harrison has been a "powerful catalyst for change" at CP since he became CEO in June 2012, they said. He has streamlined operating practices and assets; replaced nearly all senior leadership; decreased the workforce by 27 percent; and reduced CP-controlled locomotives and rail cars by 43 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

To cut costs, Harrison also relocated the railroad's headquarters from downtown Calgary, Alberta, to Ogden Yard. In addition, he had CP on track to produce a nearly 30 percent operating margin in 2013 and is targeting a 35 percent margin in 2014 — nearly double 2011's level, Morningstar officials said.

"Harrison has now transformed three railroads in his career, and along the way forged a new standard of profitability in a two-centuries-old industry," said Heather Brilliant, who heads global equity and corporate credit research for Morningstar. "It would be difficult to identify another company leader who has revolutionized operations within a mature, asset-intensive industry several times over."

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