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Rail News Home M&A

April 2023

Rail News: M&A

CPKC closing date, senior team set

Keith Creel


By Julie Sneider, Senior Associate Editor 

Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern executives last month announced they expect to officially combine their companies into what will be known as Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) on April 14.  

The Class Is announced their plans, including who they anticipate will be the merged entity’s senior leaders, two days after the Surface Transportation Board approved CP’s $31 billion acquisition of KCS on March 15. As previously announced, CP President and CEO Keith Creel will become CPKC’s top executive. 

The new senior team will include Nadeem Velani as executive vice president and chief financial officer, and John Brooks as EVP and chief marketing officer — they both currently hold the same titles at CP and will continue to report to Creel. 

Also reporting to Creel will be: 

  • Mark Redd, EVP and chief operating officer (now CP’s EVP of operations); 
  • John Orr, EVP and chief transformation officer (now KCS’ EVP of operations); 
  • James Clements, EVP of strategic planning and technology (now CP’s senior VP of strategic planning and technology); 
  • Jeff Ellis, EVP, chief legal officer and corporate secretary (now CP’s chief legal officer and corporate secretary); 
  • Warren Erdman, executive adviser for strategic projects (now a KCS EVP); 
  • Laird Pitz, senior VP and chief risk officer (now in the same role at CP); 
  • Mike Foran, SVP of network and capacity management (now CP’s VP of market strategy and asset management); and 
  • Chad Rolstad, VP of human resources and chief culture officer (now in the same role at CP). 

In addition, Oscar Augusto Del Cueto Cuevas will continue to serve as president and general manager of KCS de Mexico, but take on the additional role of KCSM’s executive representative at CPKC. 

KCS President and CEO Patrick Ottensmeyer has agreed to serve as an adviser to Creel through 2023, CP officials said in a press release. 

Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, CPKC will be the first railroad to provide single-line service spanning Canada, the United States and Mexico. It also will be the smallest of the six Class Is as measured by annual revenue.  

Still, the combined company will have a much larger and more competitive network, operating 20,000 miles of rail and employing nearly 20,000 people, CP officials said. The railroads are expected to be fully integrated in three years. 

Although the STB approved the merger, it set several conditions. Among them: The board will establish what it characterizes as an unprecedented seven-year oversight period of CPKC, along with extensive data-reporting requirements, to monitor whether the merged entity is preserving efficient interline options for shippers at protected gateways. 

STB members acknowledged that some people believe there’s been too much consolidation in the freight-rail industry. 

“Regardless of which side one takes in that debate, the board is charged by Congress with reviewing the proposed merger in light of the state of the industry as it actually exists,” the board’s decision states. “Given the current realities and the limited opportunities to provide meaningful competition for the largest Class I railroads … the board concludes that this transaction should improve rather than degrade the performance of the industry.”

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