10/16/2012 07:03 EDT | Updated 12/16/2012 05:12 EST

Canadian Pacific announces senior operations team as part of overhaul

CALGARY - Canadian Pacific (TSX:CP) has appointed members of a senior operations team to oversee new service plans as part of an overhaul of operations following a bruising shareholder battle that saw a new CEO installed earlier this year.

The Calgary-based company said Tuesday it has appointed Doug McFarlane as senior vice-president of its U.S. operations, Guido De Ciccio as senior vice-president of Canadian Operations and Scott MacDonald as senior vice-president of operations.

The team will execute its operating plan, drive service improvement, cost control and efficient asset utilization, the company said.

"With the reorientation of the operating team, we are pushing decision making and execution out of the office and into the field," said CEO Hunter Harrison.

"I expect Doug's and Guido's teams to get closer to the customer with Scott's team providing them with analytics, policy, and transportation support."

De Ciccio began his career with Canadian Pacific in 1976 and most recently served as vice-president of Canadian operations.

McFarlane also joined CP in 1976 and was most recently the company's vice-president of U.S. operations.

MacDonald joined CP in 2003 and most recently served as its vice-president of transportation.

The company has started to undergo changes under Hunter's direction.

Earlier this month, the company announced the appointment of Brian Grassby to the roles of senior vice-president and CFO.

It also announced that Mike Franczak, executive vice-president and chief operations officer, was stepping down after 25 years with the company. His resignation was effective immediately, and the company said his position is not being replaced at this time.

In September, it appointed Michael Redeker, who came from ATB Financial, as chief information officer.

New York hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management became the largest shareholder of Canadian Pacific last year, touching off a bitter months-long battle that resulted in the departure of the railway's chief executive, its chairman and several directors.

Harrison took the helm at the railway operator this summer. The former CEO of Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR) is credited with turning CN into one of North America's most successful railways.

Harrison had said the railway could cut expenses as a percentage of revenues to the mid-60 range in four years — an operating ratio target CP's former management and board deemed unrealistic.

During the second quarter, CP's operating ratio was 82.5, an increase of 80 basis points.

Canadian Pacific transports coal, fertilizer, grain, automobiles, consumer goods and other materials across its North American rail network.

Shares in CP were up 2.4 per cent or $2.08 to $89.97 Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.