Canadian National Chairman David G. A. McLean announced Tuesday that Claude Mongeau has been selected by CN’s board of directors to succeed E. Hunter Harrison as president and chief executive officer at the end of 2009. Mongeau, 47, is CN's executive vice-president and chief financial officer; he joined the company in 1994.
In 1997, the Financial Post magazine named Mongeau one of Canada's top 40 executives under 40 years of age. In 2005, he was selected Canada's CFO of the Year by an independent committee of prominent Canadian business leaders.
"Claude is an exceptional executive and leader,” McLean said in a statement. “He is one of the architects of CN's industry-leading financial performance and the key strategist behind the highly successful rail acquisitions that have grown CN's reach throughout North America and made it a key industry player. He has a keen appreciation of the power of CN's unique business model--Precision Railroading-- and will be supported by an outstanding team of railroaders."
Said Mongeau (far left, accepting congratulations from Harrison), "I deeply appreciate the board's confidence and I look forward to leading CN. I am excited about the company's future and firmly believe market trends strongly favor the growth of rail transportation. CN is superbly positioned for the future, thanks to the work of Hunter Harrison and our executive team, and I am committed to fulfilling that potential by continuing to drive innovation, greater efficiency and better service for our customers."
Harrison, 64, has served as CN’s chief executive since Jan. 1, 2003. Prior to that he served as CN's executive vice-president and chief operating officer. He was named Railway Age’s Railroader of the Year in 2002; he also was named Canada's CEO of the Year by Report on Business magazine.
In a statement, Harrison said, “Claude is a key member of my management team at CN, and I have the greatest confidence in his abilities. I've worked very closely with him on every aspect of the business. Over the next few months Claude and I will work very closely together to ensure a seamless transition at year-end."