Canadian Pacific Railway CEO Fred Green resigned and five other directors withdrew, rendering a shareholder vote anticlimactic.
Canadian Pacific’s about-face ended months of resisting proposals from William Ackman, its largest investor, to improve shareholder returns by replacing the CEO.
The C$117.1 billion (US$115.1 billion) Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and the C$152.8 billion Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, both of Toronto, both endorsed Mr. Ackman’s slate.
Proxy advisory firms ISS and Glass Lewis recommended investors back Mr. Ackman’s nominees, who had a mandate to seek management change. A preliminary vote tally confirmed their election during a meeting Thursday that lasted less than 30 minutes.
“Proxy contests are never fun for anyone involved, but they’re critical to the proper functioning of the capitalist system,” Mr. Ackman said during the meeting. “We will not make progress overnight, but we will deliver on our commitment to make this railway one of the best railways in the world.”
Mr. Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management, which began the proxy fight after talks with the company collapsed, proposed replacing Mr. Green with Hunter Harrison, the former CEO of larger competitor Canadian National Railway.
ISS in a report earlier this month said it expected the company to appoint its CEO to the board after filling the position.