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Kansas City Southern Mourns the Passing of Former President and CEO David L. Starling

Kansas City Southern (KCS) is deeply saddened at the passing of former President and Chief Executive Officer David L. Starling.

“On behalf of the entire Kansas City Southern family, we feel shock and profound sadness for the sudden loss of our former leader and friend, Dave Starling. Dave was such a great, yet humble and understated leader, who deserves so much credit for the remarkable integration and growth of the KCS, U.S.-Mexico network,” said KCS President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick J. Ottensmeyer.

“Dave had the vision and discipline to invest in this unique cross-border network, through difficult economic conditions, advancing KCS to world class status in terms of our physical infrastructure. Perhaps even more importantly, Dave was a tremendous mentor to me, and so many others at KCS. His leadership style is a foundation of the culture at KCS to this day.

"The entire KCS community and I would like to extend our most heartfelt sympathies to Dave’s wife, Candace, and to his two sons, Zach and Jeff. May God bless you in your time of grief and sadness.”

Immediately upon the closing of Canadian Pacific's (TSX: CP) (NYSE: CP) (CP) acquisition of KCS on December 14, 2021, the shares of KCS were placed into a voting trust with Mr. Starling appointed as the voting trustee. The voting trust remains in effect until the U.S. Surface Transportation Board issues its decision on the companies' joint railroad control application. With Mr. Starling's passing, CP will pursue the appointment of a replacement voting trustee.

Mr. Starling retired in December 2016 as part of the transition earlier that year from his role as the company's President and Chief Executive Officer to the current KCS President and Chief Executive Officer, Patrick J. Ottensmeyer. Mr. Starling continued to serve on the KCS Board of Directors until May 2017.

With more than 40 years in the transportation business, he had acquired substantial experience in the North American rail industry and in intermodal and global shipping logistics. He began his railroad career in 1971 with the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad (the Frisco) and over the next 14 years held various positions in rail operations at the Frisco and later Burlington Northern (BN) when the Frisco was merged into BN.

In 1988, he joined American President Lines (APL) as Managing Director of stack train operations for the Chicago region and later the Southern region. From 1993 to 1994, he served as Managing Director of the Philippines for APL and was responsible for all regional functions including financial, legal and governmental relations. In 1995, he became APL’s Managing Director for the Hong Kong/South China region, then later became Vice President for Central Asia, responsible for China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

In 1999, Mr. Starling relocated to Panama and was named President and Director General of Panama Canal Railway Company with responsibility for the reconstruction of the railroad and its subsequent operation. In July 2008, he joined KCS as President and Chief Operating officer. In May 2010, he was elected to the KCS Board of Directors and in August 2010, he was named President and Chief Executive Officer.

In 2012, David Starling was awarded Railway Age magazine’s 49th Railroader of the Year.

Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., KCS is a transportation holding company that has railroad investments in the U.S., Mexico and Panama. Its primary U.S. holding is The Kansas City Southern Railway Company, serving the central and south-central U.S. Its international holdings include Kansas City Southern de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., serving northeastern and central Mexico and the port cities of Lázaro Cárdenas, Tampico and Veracruz, and a 50 percent interest in Panama Canal Railway Company, providing ocean-to-ocean freight and passenger service along the Panama Canal. KCS' North American rail holdings and strategic alliances with other North American rail partners are primary components of a unique railway system, linking the commercial and industrial centers of the U.S., Mexico and Canada. More information about KCS can be found at


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