The Board of Directors of CN (TSX:CNR) (NYSE:CNI) today announced the appointment of Jean-Jacques Ruest as President and Chief Executive Officer of CN effective immediately. Ruest has also been appointed to CN’s Board of Directors.
“In JJ, we have the best. He brings vision, energy, and speed to the role. JJ brought the team together to tackle the immediate operational and customer service challenges the Company was facing since the fall of 2017,” said Board Chairman Robert Pace.
Ruest, 63, has been with the Company for 22 years, the last eight as Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer.
“I am very proud to be a CN railroader, and I am honoured and humbled by the Board’s confidence in me and the entire leadership team,” said Ruest. “CN’s leadership team and I are committed to re-establishing best-in-class operational excellence on a sustainable basis; to growing the value of the Company, and to building the CN brand. We will do so by investing in human capital, efficient and effective digitization, and infrastructure that will drive future growth. We will write the next chapter in CN’s history as we embark on our second century of serving customers safely and efficiently.”
Pace continued, “Following a global search, the Board concluded that JJ is the right leader to accelerate CN’s innovation strategy, to lead the Company forward, and to restore and retain industry-leading metrics and best-in-class customer service."
Ruest was appointed Interim President and Chief Executive Officer on March 5, 2018, in addition to retaining his position as Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, to which he had been named in January 2010. As CMO, he had responsibility for providing the strategic direction and leadership for CN's Sales, Marketing and CN Supply Chain Solutions groups. Ruest joined CN in 1996 as Vice-President, Petroleum and Chemicals. He was appointed Vice-President, Industrial Products in 2003, Vice-President, Marketing in 2004, and Senior Vice-President, Marketing in June 2006. Prior to this, Ruest worked for 16 years at a major international chemical company.
Ruest holds a Masters in Business Administration in Marketing from HEC Montréal (Université de Montréal) and a Bachelor of Science degree in applied chemistry from Université de Sherbrooke. He also completed the executive program of the University of Michigan Business School, and CN's Railroad MBA program.