News & Reviews News Wire Former Kansas City Southern CEO David Starling dies

Former Kansas City Southern CEO David Starling dies

By Bill Stephens | February 27, 2023

Starling was serving as KCS trustee as part of CP merger process

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Former Kansas City Southern CEO David Starling, who returned to the railway as its independent trustee as part of its proposed merger with Canadian Pacific, died on Feb. 24. Starling was 73.

Former Kansas City Southern CEO David Starling. KCS

“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,” KCS CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer said in a statement today (Feb. 27).

“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,” Ottensmeyer said. “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,” Ottensmeyer said.

“We were greatly saddened to learn of the loss of David Starling,” CP CEO Keith Creel said in a statement today. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Starling’s family, loved ones and friends at this difficult time.”

Starling became KCS’s independent trustee on Dec. 14, 2021, when the company was placed into a voting trust as part of the merger review process. The voting trust remains in effect until the U.S. Surface Transportation Board issues its decision on the companies’ joint railroad control application.

CP said it will appoint a new voting trustee.

Starling served as KCS CEO from 2010 to 2016 and is credited with making the cross-border railway work as a single, unified system. He was named the railway’s president in 2008.

Starling’s railroad career began in 1971 on the Frisco. He later worked for Burlington Northern before moving on to American President Lines and Mi-Jack Products. Starling was named president of the Panama Canal Railway, a KCS affiliate, in 1999.

The KCS intermodal terminal at Wylie, Texas, near Dallas, is named in Starling’s honor.

3 thoughts on “Former Kansas City Southern CEO David Starling dies

  1. Sorry to hear of the passing of Dave Starling. He and his family lived just down the street from us in Panama for a few years. The Panama Canal Railway became quite the operation.

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