Ackman Quits CP Rail Board After Pershing Square Sells Stake

Bill Ackman stepped down from the board of Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. a month after his Pershing Square Capital Management LP sold its entire stake in Canada’s second-largest railroad.

Ackman’s departure is effective immediately, Calgary-based Canadian Pacific said Tuesday in a statement. Former Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce executive Jill Denham and former Canadian Pacific Chief Financial Officer William Fatt have joined the railroad’s board.

At Canadian Pacific, Ackman successfully led a proxy fight to oust then-Chief Executive Officer Fred Green after years of underperformance. Green was eventually replaced by former Canadian National Railway Co. CEO Hunter Harrison, who turned Canadian Pacific from the least-efficient North American railroad into one of the best performing.

Ackman said last month he intended to continue to serve on the railroad’s board until the next annual meeting. He became a director in 2012, and served most recently as member of the finance and corporate governance and nominating committees.

“Bill has been instrumental in CP’s turnaround and his leadership will be missed at the board level,” Canadian Pacific Chairman Andrew Reardon said in the statement. “His experience, energy, commitment and knowledge served the board well over the last four years and positions CP well for the future.”

Pershing Square announced the sale of its 6.7 percent stake in Canadian Pacific in August. The New York-based firm said it would use proceeds to fund one or more new investments, without being more specific.