Keith Creel has been president and chief executive officer of Canadian Pacific a scant seven-plus months. He succeeded E. Hunter Harrison, who led CP for more than four years before becoming CSX’s CEO this past March.
A 25-year rail industry veteran with experience in many areas, Creel joined CP in February 2013 as president and chief operating officer, reteaming with Harrison. Prior to that, he spent 11 years at CN, many of them working side by side with then-CEO Harrison in such high-level posts as executive vice president and COO, and EVP of operations.
Now a first-time chief officer — and the 17th person to lead CP since 1881 — Creel aims to continue driving solid top-line growth and bottom-line results amid several ongoing challenges. Clearing what he recognizes as the main hurdles will require actions that expand efficiency gains, refine the marketing approach, regain some shippers’ trust and reinvigorate a beleaguered workforce worn down the past few years by tumultuous change — from numerous yard closings to massive job cuts to a slew of operating practice modifications.
As some rail industry observers acknowledge and he himself admits, some of the toughest work still lies ahead for Creel.
Read this September issue article written by freelancer Robert Derocher to understand what that tough work entails. Feel free to use the comment section if you have something to say or relay about Creel and his leadership style.